Ismaily survive scare to advance in CAF cup

CAIRO – Former African champions Ismaily of Egypt survived a scare in Madagascar at the weekend to reach the last-16 round of the CAF Confederation Cup.
Ghanaian John Antwi scored for TCO Boeny midway through the second half. Net photo.
Ghanaian John Antwi scored for TCO Boeny midway through the second half. Net photo.

CAIRO – Former African champions Ismaily of Egypt survived a scare in Madagascar at the weekend to reach the last-16 round of the CAF Confederation Cup.

Taking what appeared a comfortable two-goal lead into the return match against TCO Boeny in Mahajanga, the experienced African campaigners fell 2-0 behind three minutes into the second half.

But Ghanaian John Antwi scored midway through the second half and Ibrahim Hassan levelled in the final minute to earn a 2-2 on the day and a 4-2 overall victory for the Egyptians.

Zola Raveloarison had put Boeny in front four minutes before halftime and Alain Andrianantenaina doubled the lead three minutes after the interval to raise hopes of a rare Malagasy victory in a CAF club competition.

The next opponents for 1969 African Champions Cup winners Ismaily will be Sudanese side Al-Ahly Shandy, who retained a one-goal first-leg advantage by forcing a 0-0 draw with Dedebit of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa.                                         Shandy impressed when they debuted in the Confederation Cup last year, reaching the group phase before finding fellow Sudanese sides Al-Hilal and Al-Merreikh too powerful.

Wydad Casablanca of Morocco, another club to have been crowned African champions, fought back to draw 1-1 against AS Douanes of Togo in Lome and complete a 4-1 aggregate victory.

Douanes did threaten a second-leg recovery when Lambina Mounaghi scored on 38 minutes only for Ivorian Boblay Anderson Allegne to equalise on the hour mark at the Kegue Stadium.

Liga Muculmana of Mozambique, who caused a stir when they humiliated Nigerian visitors Lobi Stars 7-1 in Maputo last Friday, are set to pose a more formidable challenge for the Moroccans this month. Diables Noirs, hoping to emulate compatriots AC Leopards and become the second successive Congolese winners of the second-tier competition, drew 0-0 against Panthers of Equatorial Guinea in Malabo to advance 6-1 overall. The fixture between Lydia Academic of Burundi and Daring Club Motema Pembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Bujumbura was postponed to April 14 as the Kinshasa club are mourning the deaths of three players in a car accident.

Heartland of Nigeria have protested to competition organisers CAF after hosts US Bitam of Gabon claimed a walkover when their rivals did not appear for the second leg last Saturday.

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