NAPSA Stars stuns Gor Mahia to qualify for CAF Confederation Cup group stage

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Kenyan league champions Gor Mahia twice surrendered a lead to draw away against Zambian side NAPSA Stars in their CAF Confederation Cup additional preliminary round second leg on Sunday.

The match ended 2-2 with NAPSA Stars winning on aggregate and guaranteeing them a place in this season’s Confederation Cup group stage and a maiden appearance in CAF interclub competitions.

Zambian club NAPSA Stars recovered to knock out Kenyan champions Gor Mahia on aggregate and qualify for this season’s CAF Confederation Cup group stage. /VCG Image

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg in Nairobi, Gor Mahia made the perfect start as Samuel Onyango broke the deadlock in just the 17th minute to level the tie and hand the Kenyans a vital away goal.

Their joy was short-lived as the home side replied instantly through Austin Banda just a minute later. Gor Mahia seized the initiative just two minutes later through Clifton Miheso to make it 2-1 with the 2-2 aggregate score sending them through on away goals.

The tie remained finely poised as both sides tried to strike a killer blow in the second half but neither, Gor Mahia in particular, made their chances count.

However, with the game in its dying seconds, veteran Zambian forward Emmanuel Mayuka converted a penalty to equalise for the home side and earn them a draw on the day and a 3-2 aggregate win to progress to the group stage.

Elsewhere, 2018 champions Raja Casablanca of Morocco made it to the tournament after squeezing past Monastir of Tunisia despite losing 1-0 courtesy of a first-half goal by Elyes Jelassi.

Raja won 6-5 on post-match penalties after the tie had ended 1-1 on aggregate with the Moroccans having won their home leg by a similar score.

Last season’s runners-up Pyramids F.C. of Egypt scored a goal in each half to defeat Racing d’Abidjan of Côte d’Ivoire 2-0 for a 4-0 aggregate result.

Onassis Mntambo scored the only goal of the game as South Africa’s Orlando Pirates defeated Batswana champions Jwaneng Galaxy 1-0 in Johannesburg and also completed a 4-0 aggregate win.

Algerian club JS Kabylie edged Stade Malien 1-0 with Barreddine Souyad scoring the winner in just the fourth minute. The win saw the tie finish 2-2 on aggregate but the Algerians qualified on account of the away goals rule as they lost the first leg away from home 2-1.

Cotonsport of Cameroon and Jaraaf of Senegal defeated SONIDEP of Niger and F.C. Platinum of Zimbabwe 1-0 respectively, to advance with 2-0 aggregate wins.

ES Sétif of Algeria and Asante Kotoko played out a goalless draw with the former advancing 2-1 on aggregate.

Oliver Boissy rounded off the scoring as Burkinabe side Salitas F.C. thumped Bouenguidi of Gabon 3-1 to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg and qualify 3-2 on aggregate.

Al Ahly Benghazi (Libya) and Enyimba (Nigeria) both needed penalties to advance to the group stage. The Libyans beat Motema Pembe (DR Congo) 8-7 on penalties after the match ended 2-2 on aggregate while Enyimba beat fellow Nigerian side Rivers United 5-4 on penalties after the tie ended 1-1 on aggregate.

Zambian side Nkana F.C., who finished the game with 10 men, lost 2-1 away to Morocco’s TAS Casablanca but progressed 3-2 on aggregate.

Three-time Confederation Cup winners CS Sfaxien of Tunisia sealed their place in the group stage on Saturday with a 5-2 aggregate win over Rwandan side AS Kigali.

Tanzanian side Namungo F.C. holds a strong advantage heading into the second leg after thrashing Primeiro de Agosto of Angola 6-2 in Dar es Salaam. The first leg, which was initially to be held in Luanda, was moved to Tanzania due to COVID-19 restrictions. The Angolan side played the first match as the “home” team.

Meanwhile, the second leg between Étoile Sportive du Sahel of Tunisia and Young Buffaloes of Eswatini is due to take place. The Tunisians hold a 2-1 advantage from the first leg.

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