Africain edge closer to Confederation Cup final

Ezechiel Ndouassel
Ezechiel Ndouassel scored the crucial away goal for Club Africain in Nigeria

Moco scored two late goals as Angolan police team InterClube defeated Moroccan visitors MAS 2-1 on Sunday in a dramatic Confederation Cup semi-final.

A defensive blunder in Luanda gifted the North Africans a 39th-minute lead through Abdelhadi Halhoul.

The visitors were still in front with just six minutes left of the first leg.

But Moco did the damage for the Angolan side with the winner coming in the final minute.

InterClube had scored twice in the final four minutes of a play-off with another Moroccon side, Difaa al-Jadida, to take a commanding three-goal first-leg lead in a mid-year play-off.

The never-say-die spirit of the police side was evident again late in the group phase as they turned a deficit against Tunisian visitors Club Africain into a 2-1 triumph thanks to a goal two minutes from full-time.

Despite suffering their first defeat in eight African games, MAS remain favourites to progress after the 30 October return match and Club Africain are likely to win the other semi-final.

The Tunis club triumphed 1-0 away to surprise side Sunshine Stars of Nigeria on Saturday.

Chad-born goal poacher Ezechiel Ndouassel snatched the lone goal for the Tunisians nine minutes into the second half of the first leg.

The result keeps them on course for their first African title in 20 years after their heroics in Ijebu Ode.

The Tunis club will host the secondn leg on 29 October at the Al-Menzah Stadium.

The match will be played behind closed doors as punishment for crowd trouble during a group match against Asec Mimosas of Ivory Coast.

Club Africain won the 1991 African Champions Cup, forerunner to the African Champions League, with a 7-3 aggregate drubbing of Nakivubo Villa of Uganda.

But they have been overshadowed since by compatriots Esperance, Etoile du Sahel and CS Sfaxien.

The Nigerian side Sunshine are competing in Africa for the first time this year.

The home loss is another blow to a country still reeling from the failure last weekend of the national 'Super Eagles' team to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.

Angolan police team InterClube host title favourites Moghreb Fes of Morocco in Luanda on Sunday in the other semi-final of a competition carrying a $660,000 first prize.

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