ROUND UP: CAF Champions League
Moroccan club Raja Casablanca kicked off the African Champions League in style, with a 4-0 win over Congolese side Diables Noirs.
Two late goals from Adil Karrouchy and Abdeljalil Jbira in stoppage time put the three-time African champions on course for the round-of-32 with the second leg still to be played.
The Moroccan club could face South African side Kaiser Chiefs or Botswanan representatives Township Rollers, with the South African’s leading 2-1. While fellow Moroccans Moghreb Tetouan lost the away leg of their tie to CO Bamako 2-0 in Mali. Continuing their poor run of results after a shock defeat to Auckland City in December’s Club World Cup action.
Meanwhile 2014 CAF Champions League finalists Sewe San Pedro of Ivory Coast got their campaign off to a disappointing start with a 2-1 defeat to Kaloum of Guinea.
Jean Christian Pathinvo levelled for the Ivorians after Cheick Oumar Ballo had given Kaloum the lead, before Mandala Konte restored the advantage for the Guineans. The woodwork later denying them a third.
Bamako, the capital of Mali, will host the return leg of this fixture, due to the outbreak of Ebola in Guinea.
Real Banjul returned to the continental tournament with a draw, after Gambia’s two-year ban was lifted by CAF. Liberian side Barrack Young Controllers holding the Gambian club to a draw at home. Bamako will also host the return leg of this fixture, with Liberia also suffering severely from the Ebola outbreak.
Al-Ahly Tripoli dismissed Egyptian side Smouha 1-0, which was hosted in Tunis due to unrest in Libya. Mohamed Al-Ghannoudi converted a second-half penalty to give the ‘home side’ the advantage, going into the second leg.
Elsewhere, two second-half goals from Nigerian side Kano Pillars put South Sudanese club Al-Malakia in trouble, taking home advantage into the reverse fixture. While Boniface Oluoch bravely denied CNaPS Sport of Madagascar on several occassions to steal a narrow 1-0 victory for Gor Mahia of Kenya.
Ghanaians Asante Kotoko couldn’t have asked for an easier opener to their Champions League campaign, as Sierra Leoneans East End Lions withdrew.