JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Oct 22 – Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane is predicting a “difficult” CAF Champions League semi-final second leg in Egypt Friday against Moroccan visitors Wydad Casablanca despite holding a two-goal advantage.
The Cairo Red Devils exceeded expectations under their recently hired South African handler by winning in Casablanca through goals from Mohamed ‘Afsha’ Magdy and Ali Maaloul.
“The second leg at home will be difficult because Wydad are capable of doing to us in Cairo what we did to them in Casablanca,” warned the former Mamelodi Sundowns coach.
Here, AFP Sport rounds up football news around Africa:
Mosimane is being cagey, but no club has won a CAF Champions League (formerly African Cup of Champions Clubs) semi-final after losing the first leg at home by two or more goals.
The boldest attempt came from Al Hilal of Sudan, who crashed 5-2 to TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo, then travelled to central Africa and won the return match 2-0 for a 5-4 aggregate loss.
Ahly or Wydad will have to wait until November 1 before knowing their final opponents after the second leg between Egyptians Zamalek and Raja Casablanca was postponed as eight Moroccans have contracted Covid-19.
Defending champions Simba suffered a first loss in the Tanzania Premier League this season when going down 1-0 away to eighth-place Prisons with Samsoni Mbangula scoring the lone goal.
Table-toppers Azam maintained the only perfect record by winning 2-0 at Ihefu through second-half goals from Ayubu Lyanga and Oddi Seleman.
The ice cream company club lead Young Africans by five points after seven rounds and are eight points in front of third-place Simba.
Sebastian Mwange has been rewarded for good performances since succeeding veteran Kennedy Mweene recently as first choice Zambia goalkeeper by landing a contract with Maritzburg United.
The 28-year-old moves from Green Eagles in his homeland to the South African Premiership club after signing a two-year contract to succeed Orlando Pirates-bound Ghanaian Richard Ofori.
Maritzburg chairman Farook Kadodia said: “We have a solid record when it comes to hiring players from other African countries and expect Sebastian to continue this tradition.”
Reigning African champions Algeria rose one place in the African rankings to third behind Senegal and Tunisia Thursday after defeating Nigeria and drawing with Mexico in friendly matches this month.
The ‘Desert Foxes’ are unbeaten in 20 internationals since losing an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Benin in October 2018.
National coach Djamel Belmadi was called a “magician” this week by Algeria captain Riyad Mahrez, the Manchester City winger and 2016 African Footballer of the Year.
Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee has been named coach of Kenya for a fifth time after Francis Kimanzi was surprisingly dumped this week.
Under Kimanzi, the Harambee Stars exceeded expectations by forcing a 1-1 away draw with record seven-time champions Egypt last October in a 2021 Cup of Nations qualifier.
The highlight of four previous spells in charge for Mulee was guiding the east African economic powerhouse to the 2004 Cup of Nations in Tunisia.
South African Football Association president Danny Jordaan has defended under-fire national coach Molefi Ntseki after disappointing friendly match results this month.
Bafana Bafana (The Boys) surrendered leads in home matches when drawing 1-1 with Namibia and losing 2-1 to Zambia in warm-ups for Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sao Tome e Principe during November.
“All coaches go through a rough patch and the same thing (criticism) happened to Pitso Mosimane, who is now considered our best coach having been hired by African giants Al Ahly,” said Jordaan.
A thrilling Sudan Premier League title race is going down to the wire as arch Omdurman rivals Al Merrikh and Al Hilal are level on 68 points with two rounds remaining.
In the latest series of matches, twice CAF Champions League runners-up Hilal trounced Al Ahly Shendy 3-0 while Merrikh won 2-0 against Al Wadi.
Hilal (31 titles) and Merrikh (21) have dominated Sudanese football for many decades, winning 52 of the 55 Premier League editions.