By Sedara Philip
The first preliminary round of this season’s TotalEnergies CAF Champions League drew to a close on Sunday, 27 August after the final round of fixtures took place, producing some interesting outcomes.
Ethiopia’s Saint George FC secured their place in the next round after a comfortable 3-1 win at home over Tanzania’s KMKM.
Coming back from a goal down in the second half, Dawit Alemu immediately brought his side back into the game with a converted spot kick in the 49th minute before Natneal Zeleke and Abel Yalew put the match beyond reach.
In Malawi, Big Bullets finished off the job at home with a 1-0 win over Dragon FC of Equatorial Guinea. The Malawians came into the clash with a comfortable 2-0 away win which set them up for a comfortable finish at home to secure a place in the next round.
On the western part of the continent, Cameroon’s Coton Sport de Garoua failed to capitalize on home ground advantage after Real Bamako of Mali overcame them 2-0 to advance to the next stage.
A lot was expected of the Cameroonians who held their opponents to a goalless draw in the first leg, however it was not meant to be as the Malians capitalized on their chances to edge their hosts in a tense affair.
In Nigeria, Remo Stars SC welcomed Medeama SC of Ghana who travelled to Nigeria with a slender 1-0 lead from the first leg.
Needing just a draw to march through, the Ghanaians had to do it through the lottery of penalties after Stars found a goal in the dying minutes for the tie to be decided on penalites which went 4-3 in favour of the Ghanaians.
Continuing with the action in the western part of the continent, Ivorian giants, Asec Mimosas made use of home ground advantage after defeating Coton Sport of Benin by 2-0 following a 0-0 away draw.
Al Ahli Tripoli’s 1-0 win over Nouadhibou FC of Mauritania was not enough to see them through after narrowly missing out with the final aggregate score being 2-1 in favour of the Mauritanians to see them through.
Moving to the action in Liberia, LISCR were stunned at home by Sierra Leone’s Bo Rangers with a narrow 1-0 victory which saw them through on a 2-1 aggregate scoreline, following last week’s draw were each side found the back of the net once.
With the final round of first preliminary fixtures concluded, the official fixtures of the second preliminary round will soon be communicated along with venues and kick-off times.
All results of the first preliminary round
St. George 3-1 KMKM (2-1)
Étoile du Sahel 1-0 CS Constantine (2-0)
Gaadiidka FC 2-0 APR (1-1)
Bumamuru 5-1 Bendje (1-1)
Al Merreikh 0-0 Otôho (1-1)
Orlando Pirates 3-0 Djabal FC (1-0)
Green Mamba 1-1 CUD Songo (0-1)
Power Dynamo 1-0 African Stars (1-2)
Young Africans 5-1 AS Ali Sabieh (2-0)
Vipers SC 2-1 Jwaneng Galaxy (0-2)
AS Far 7-0 ASKO (1-0)
Big Bullets 1-0 Dragón FC (2-0)
Coton Sport 0-2 Real Bamako (0-0)
Enyimba 0-0 Al Ahli Benghazi (3-4)
Vita Club 1-1 Primeiro do Agosto (1-2)
Remo Stars 1-0 Medeama (0-1)
Al Ahli Tripoli 1-0 Nouadhibou (1-1)
LISCR 0-1 Bo Rangers (1-1)
ASEC 2-0 Coton FC (0-0)