13 March 2016

Africa: Satisfactory Start for Jol As Ahly Draw Away


Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Martin Jol made a satisfactory CAF Champions League debut with Al Ahly of Egypt Saturday as they held Recreativo Libolo 0-0 in Angola. The return match in the last-32 tie is set for Alexandria next Saturday with record eight-time winners Ahly favourites to reach the final qualifying round for the group stage.

Jol, who also coached Fulham when they were an English Premier League club, had been out of football for three years.

But the 60-year-old did not hesitate to accept an offer from Ahly, a Cairo-based club who have won a record 19 CAF club titles. His first game in charge produced a domestic league win and an away draw in often hostile African conditions is widely accepted as an acceptable result.

Libolo scored nine goals in a Champions League preliminary tie against Equatoguinean opponents last month with

Senegalese Mamadou Diawara scoring four and Luiz Luciano Silva three.But neither marksman threatened an Ahly defence that included second-choice goalkeeper Ahmed Adel standing in for injured veteran Sherif Ekramy.

Ahly, who also missed veteran striker Emad Meteb through injury, were equally unimpressive going forward and the Recreativo goalkeeper was seldom troubled.

Another former Premier League manager, Alex McLeish, debuts in the Champions League Sunday when his new club, Zamalek of Egypt, face Union Douala in Cameroon.

Goals just before and after half-time gave Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa a 2-0 victory over AC Leopards of Congo Brazzaville in Atteridgeville near Pretoria.

It could have been a wider winning margin, though, as Anthony Laffor had a late penalty kick saved by Tresor Elenga in a showdown between substitutes.

Elenga had come off the bench to replace Herve Lomboto, red carded for the foul on Khama Billiat that led to the penalty, while the spot-kick was the first touch for Liberian Laffor.

Keagan Dolly slammed the ball into the net from outside the box to put Sundowns ahead and a looping shot from Colombian Leonardo Castro doubled the lead.

The other South African challengers, Kaizer Chiefs, suffered a shock 1-0 home loss to ASEC Mimosas of Ivory Coast at Soccer City stadium in Soweto.

Adama Bakayoko nodded the winner on 51 minutes for ASEC as Chiefs suffered a third loss in all competitions within eight days.

Last Saturday they were bundled out of the South African FA Cup by arch rivals Orlando Pirates and a midweek league loss virtually ended any hopes of retaining the league title.

Zesco United of Zambia were impressive 4-1 home winners over Horoya of Guinea in Ndola thanks to goals from Idriss Mbombo, Jesse Were, Cletus Chota and Maybin Mwaba.

Young Africans of Tanzania look set to secure a last-16 slot after winning

2-1 away to APR of Rwanda in an East African derby.

Goals from Juma Abdul Jaffar and Thaban Kamusoko put the Dar es Salaam outfit in control before Patrick Sibomana halved the deficit in stoppage time.

Stade Malien of Mali overcome Coton Sport of Cameroon 2-0 in Bamako and there was a 1-0 home win for Club Africain of Tunisia over Mouloudia Bejaia.


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