African News 20.3.2017 12:56 pm

Mazembe make shock Caf Champions League exit

TP Mazembe Team Picture (Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix)

TP Mazembe Team Picture (Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix)

Democratic Republic of Congo club TP Mazembe were the major casualties of the Caf Champions League last-32 stage that was completed at the weekend.

The five-time African champions from mining hub Lubumbashi could only draw 0-0 with CAPS United of Zimbabwe in Harare and lost the tie on away goals.

CAPS caused a first leg shock the previous weekend by drawing 1-1 in the DR Congo after taking a 45-second lead.

It is the first time in 14 attempts since the premier African club competition was remodelled in 1997 that Mazembe have fallen at the first qualifying hurdle.

CAPS were unexpected giant-killers as they struggled to oust modest Lioli of Lesotho in the preliminary round last month.

The Harare-based outfit made early exits in three previous Champions League appearances.

As in the first leg, CAPS goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda made several fine saves in Harare, and also stepped forward to test his opposite number with a long-range free-kick.

Mazembe exerted intense late pressure without managing to score the goal they needed to avoid failing to reach the group stage for the second year in a row.

The Congolese fell to Wydad Casablanca of Morocco in a 2016 last-16 tie, but that round has since been dropped with the group stage expanded from eight clubs to 16.

CAPS were not the only southern Africa club celebrating as Ferroviario Beira of Mozambique and Zanaco of Zambia booked group debuts.

So did regular African campaigners Saint George, the first Ethiopian club to achieve the feat.

Ferroviario won on penalties after losing 2-0 to Barrack Young Controllers in Monrovia with the crowd including 1995 World Footballer of the Year George Weah of Liberia.

Zanaco squeezed through on away goals after drawing 0-0 in Lusaka against Young Africans of Tanzania and Saint George did a double over AC Leopards of Congo Brazzaville with a 2-0 home win.

Record eight-time champions Al Ahly of Egypt survived two late first-half scares to hold Wits 0-0 in South Africa and advance 1-0 on aggregate.

A header from Frank Mhango forced a great save by Sherif Ekramy and the Malawian struck the post from the resulting corner.

Five-time African title-holders Zamalek of Egypt were comfortable overall winners despite losing 2-1 to Enugu Rangers in Nigeria.

Etoile Sahel of Tunisia, the only club to win all five CAF competitions, defeated AS Tanda 2-1 in the Ivory Coast having built a three-goal lead at home.

results

Highlands P 1-0 Maritzburg
Baroka FC 2-2 Chiefs
Ajax CT 2-2 FS Stars

fixtures

Arrows vs Highlands P
P City vs Celtic
FS Stars vs Pirates

psl log

# Team GP Pts
1 Cape Town City 21 39
2 Bidvest Wits 19 38
3 SuperSport United 20 37
4 Kaizer Chiefs 21 36
5 Sundowns 17 34
6 Polokwane City 21 27
7 Arrows 21 27
8 Platinum Stars 20 25
9 Chippa United 21 23
10 Maritzburg Utd 21 23
11 Orlando Pirates 20 23
12 Ajax Cape Town 21 22
13 Highlands Park 21 20
14 Bloem Celtic 20 19
15 Free State Stars 21 19
16 Baroka FC 21 15

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