Champions League: Setif held to a draw as SA clubs struggle

African Champions League trophy
African Champions League trophy

The defending champions, Algerians Entente Setif, put aside the suspension of goalkeeper Sofiane Khedairia to force a 1-1 draw at Gambians Real Banjul in the first leg of the African Champions League last-32 tie.

Khedairia, a key figure in the team that won the title last year against DR Congo outfit AS Vita Club, was suspended after the club said he feigned injury to avoid visiting west Africa.

Ablie Jallow gave Real the lead with Mohamed Bouchar levelling for Setif.

South African clubs Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs both struggled at home in their first leg contests.

Zimbabwean Khama Billiat brought good domestic form to the international arena by scoring four minutes from time as Sundowns left it late to win 1-0 against Democratic Republic of Congo outfit TP Mazembe in Pretoria.

But the hosts would have hoped for a bigger lead after Mazembe had to play more than half the match with ten men after Kabaso Chongo was sent off.

Chiefs have been struggling to score in the national league and they wasted several good chances after Moroccans Raja Casablanca struck early for a 1-0 victory in Durban.

The South Africans' defence allowed unmarked Nigerian Ighodaro Osaguona to nod a Yassine Salhi free-kick past goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo in the sixth minute.

Substitute Siphelele Mthembu had a great chance to level in the closing stages when one-on-one with Raja goalkeeper Khalid Askri, but took the wrong option, firing a powerful shot embarrassingly wide.

Guineans Kaloum, who upset Sewe Sport in the preliminaries, almost pulled off a famous win away to Zambians Zesco United after going ahead through a 58th minute goal from Soumah. Zesco escaped with a draw after a goal from Zulu in the third minute of stoppage time.

Elswehere, veteran goal poacher Emad Meteb bagged a second-half brace to give record eight-time African champions Egyptians Al Ahly a 2-0 triumph over Rwandan army club APR in Kigali.

There were two-goal victories for Sudanese El-Merrikh and Malians Stade Malien against Kabuscorp and Manga Sport respectively, while Cameroonians Coton Sport were held to a goal-less draw at home to Congolese side Sanga Balende and Algerians El-Eulma drew 0-0 with Ghanaians Asante Kotoko.

A recent armed attack on the bus carrying Nigerians Kano Pillars has resulted in a one-week delay to their away fixture against Moroccans Moghreb Tetouan.