JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Jan 7 – Ivorian Souleymane Coulibaly starred as Etoile Sahel of Tunisia edged Al Mokawloon Al Arab of Egypt in the major CAF Confederation Cup last 32 attraction.
Etoile won the second leg, and the tie, 2-1 with Coulibaly breaking the deadlock, then converting a late penalty after Seifeddine Jaziri had equalised.
A west African showdown produced a shock with Jaraaf of Senegal overcoming San Pedro of the Ivory Coast 2-1 in Abidjan to squeeze though on away goals.
Here, AFP Sport presents five talking points from the final qualifiers in the African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League.
Tunisians leave it late
After a dour goalless first leg in Cairo, the return match in the highly anticipated tie produced plenty of drama with Coulibaly’s header putting twice-Confederation Cup winners Etoile ahead on 22 minutes.
Tunisian Jaziri levelled six minutes into the second half only for Coulibaly to break Mokawloon hearts with his spot-kick three minutes from time.
Etoile are the only club to have won all five current and past CAF competitions while Mokawloon lifted the now defunct African Cup Winners Cup three times.
Zambians creep through
African debutants NAPSA Stars of Zambia crept into the playoffs after Emmanuel Mayuka scored 15 minutes from time to force a 1-1 away draw with UD Songo of Mozambique in port city Beira.
Songo had exceeded expectations by drawing 0-0 in Lusaka and went ahead midway through the first half of the return match thanks to Lau King.
NAPSA are the sole Zambian survivors this season in the Confederation Cup after Green Eagles lost at home and away to Coton Sport of Cameroon.
Senegalese defy odds
After surprisingly eliminating Kano Pillars of Nigeria in a preliminary tie, Jaraaf defied the odds again to get past San Pedro.
The Senegalese outfit were in trouble against the Ivorians after losing 1-0 at home, but turned the tables thanks to goals from Albert Diene and Makhtar N’Diaye in Abidjan.
Richard Zumah scored for San Pedro with four minutes remaining to create a tense finish, but a second goal that would taken them through on aggregate proved elusive.
Ugandan hat-trick in vain
Brian Aheebwa bagged a hat-trick for Kampala Capital City Authority, but it was not enough to save the Ugandan team from elimination in an all east African clash.
They defeated AS Kigali 3-1, but lost on away goals after the Rwandans were awarded a 2-0 first leg victory because Kampala could field only 13 players due to positive Covid-19 tests.
As the coronavirus spread across Africa last year, CAF ruled that teams cannot play in continental competitions unless they have at least 15 players who have tested negative.
Tanzanian rookies recover
Namungo have reached the playoffs at the first attempt and moved one step closer to becoming only the second Tanzanian qualifiers for the group stage after Young Africans.
They followed up a 2-0 home win over regular African participants Al Hilal Obeid of Sudan by coming from two goals behind to draw the second leg 3-3 in Omdurman.
Stephen Sey gave Namungo an second-minute lead with his fourth Confederation Cup goal this season only for Obeid to lead 3-1 after 19 minutes before Namungo recovered.