Wits overturn Champions League deficit to beat Saint Louisienne

The African Champions League trophy
The African Champions League trophy

South African Premier League side Bidvest Wits overturned a 2-1 deficit against Reunion's Saint-Louisienne to win the home leg of their African Champions League preliminary round tie 3-1 and advance 4-3 on aggregate.

Wits, who are challenging for the Premier League title in South Africa, scored first after 27 minutes from a Daine Klate free-kick to level the aggregate score.

Sifiso Myeni then made it 2-0 on the day, 3-2 overall with a second goal for Wits a minute after half-time, although a goal from Saint-Louisienne's Philean 12 minutes from time gave the visitors hopes of pulling off a shock victory.

Cuthbert Malajila proved to be Wits' hero, scoring a decisive goal with four minutes remaining to seal a victory for the hosts, and earn them a tie against Egypt's Al Ahly in the round of 32.

In the pick of the other second leg results on Saturday, Tanzania's Young Africans also progressed, despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Ngaya Club of Comoros. The Tanzanians had done enough in the first leg to go through 6-2 on aggregate.

Zanaco of Zambia were 1-0 winners at APR of Rwanda to secure their place in the next round after their home leg had ended 0-0.

Significant prize fund

The African Champions League has an increase in total prize money this year, soaring from $5.7m (£4.6m) to $10m, a 119.30% increase.

The group phase - where the cash kicks in - has been expanded from eight to 16 clubs with participants guaranteed at least $550,000 (£440,000) each.

For clubs dreaming of going all the way and succeeding where Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa did last year, the "carrot" is a $2.5m (£2m) first prize.

Sundowns are among nine clubs given byes on merit into the round of 32, with record eight-time champions Al Ahly another.

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