Scramble for Confederation Cup semi-finals hots up

Kaduna's lead striker Jude Aneke
Kaduna United must beat Club Africain in order to qualify for the semi-finals

Two Nigerian clubs will be looking for slots in the semi-finals of the African Confederation Cup as the group mini-league phase concludes this weekend.

A win for Sunshine Stars against visiting JS Kabylie of Algeria on Saturday will see them qualify for the semis from Group B.

Kaduna United have a mathematical chance from Group A if they defeat Tunisia's Club Africain on Sunday.

A draw against DC Motema Pembe will see Morocco's MAS through to the last four.

The Congolese boast the competition's leading scorer Salakiaku Matondo, and must better Sunshine Stars' result to go through.

Angola's InterClub were the first to make it to the last four when they thrashed Kaduna 4-1 in Luanda on Sunday.

Kaduna must now triumph in their northern Nigeria city against former African champions Club Africain to finish Group A runners-up on the head-to-head rule.

Any other outcome will see Club Africain advance, either as pool winners or runners-up, depending on the outcome of Sunday's clash between InterClube and Ivory Coast's ASEC Mimosas who are bottom of Group A.

The Tunisians defeated Asec 1-0 on Sunday to maintain second spot in the group.

Leading Kaduna scorer Jude Aneke will be under pressure from Belgian coach Maurice Cooreman, having struck four times in the competition this season.

The head-to-head rule will also work for Sunshine Stars provided they overcome Algerians JS Kabylie, who sit at the bottom of Group B with no points and only one goal from from five outings.

The Nigerians boosted their chance of qualifying for the semis when they held DC Motema Pembe 0-0 in Kinshasa on Sunday.

They can take confidence from their 2-1 victory in the first fixture in Algiers thanks to goals from Emmanuel Sunday and Sakibu Atanda.

MAS are unbeaten in the mini-league phase, hold a three-point advantage over Sunshine and Motema Pembe, and a draw at home to the Congolese will seal top place and semi-finals showdown with the Group A runners-up.

The semi-finals take place in October with the Confederation Cup final scheduled for 18-20 November and 02-04 December.

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