Al Ahly squeeze past Young Africans after penalties

African Champions League Trophy
African Champions League Trophy

Al Ahly edged to victory over Young Africans in the Champions League after a penalty shootout.

The Egyptian giants and defending champions trailed 1-0 from the first leg in Tanzania but levelled the tie at 1-1 on aggregate when left-back Sayed Moawad scored in the 71st minute.

Young Africans defended resolutely thereafter to force a shootout.

But Al Ahly kept their cool under pressure to win 4-3 on penalties and avoid a shock elimination.

There was no such reprieve for Moroccan club Raja Casablanca as they were knocked out by Horoya just three months after finishing as runners-up in the Fifa Club World Cup.

The three-time African champions defeated their Guinean visitors 1-0 in front of their home fans in the second leg of the first round tie to make the score 1-1 on aggregate but they lost the subsequent penalty shootout 5-4.

A dramatic finish to the match had seen saw Mouhssine Iajour net the lone goal just three minutes from time.

Raja had been among the favourites to win the trophy this year having greatly exceeded expectations in the Club World Cup hosted by Morocco last December.

Horoya won the first leg 1-0 in Conakry last weekend through a Moussa Keita goal and now face Tunisians CS Sfaxien for a place in the mini-league phase of the tournament.

Nigerians Enyimba were another big-name club to win but be eliminated from the annual competition that turns 50 this year.

The 'Peoples Elephant' triumphed 1-0 away to Malians Real Bamako with Bala Zaka scoring the match-winner on the stroke of half-time at Stade Modibo Keita. However, the 2003 and 2004 title-holders lost on the away-goal rule having suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at their Aba fortress last weekend.

The result means both Nigerian challengers have been eliminated with Kano Pillars losing to Democratic Republic of Congo outfit Vita in the preliminaries last month.

This was the second prized scalp within two months for Real, who dumped 1985 champions FAR Rabat in the previous round.

Egyptians Zamalek and Algerians Entente Setif - the other former champions in action - fought goalless away draws to advance in contrasting fashion.

Zamalek, whose five Champions League victories makes them the second most successful club behind compatriots Al Ahly, squeezed past Angolans Kabuscorp 1-0 on aggregate.

The narrow advantage the 'White Knights' brought from Cairo was almost surrendered several times in Luanda and the Angolans had a goal ruled offside.

DR Congo playmaker Tresor Mputu was outstanding for Kabuscorp while veteran Zamalek goalkeeper Abdel Wahed El-Sayed produced several superb saves.

Setif had a much more comfortable passage, holding ASFA Yennenga in Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou, after building a healthy five-goal first leg advantage.

Congo Brazzaville outfit AC Leopards survived a major scare in Angola, losing 2-0 to Primeiro Agosto after taking a 4-1 lead into the return match. Guilherme Afonso put military club Primeiro ahead after only three minutes and Amaro netted just after half-time, but a third goal that would have won the tie eluded the hosts.

Nkana rekindled memories of past African exploits by winning 2-1 at Ugandans KCCA to scrape through having been held at home.

Claude Bwalya put the 1990 runners-up ahead during the first half, Brian Majwega levelled after the break and Christopher Munthali struck the winner just before the hour mark.

Zimbabwean Knowledge Musona scored a hat-trick as South Africans Kaizer Chiefs emphasised their superiority over Mozambicans Liga Muculmana by winning 3-0 in Maputo having built a four-goal lead at home.