Thursday, April 21, 2016 5:24 am
Enyimba International Football Club of Aba on Wednesday in Sousse, Tunisia squeezed through into the group stage of the 2016 CAF Champions League after a 4-3 win on penalty kicks.
In the second leg match of their final qualification round fixture in the competition, the two-time African champions lost 0-3 to hosts Etoile Sportive du Sahel.
The match saw Enyimba, 3-0 winners in the first leg in Port Harcourt over a week ago, failing to hold on after conceding only a goal in the first half.
Hamza Lahmar had given the hosts a first half lead, before Brazilian player Diogo Acosta scored twice midway into the second half to take the match to extra time.
Extra time play yielded no goal and, after a 3-3 aggregate over two legs, the penalty kicks shootout was applied with Enyimba scorig four times and conceding thrice.
Enyimba will now join seven others in the May 24 draw to know which group they are in the group phase competition.
In other matches played Wednesday, title-holders TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo were eliminated after drawing 1-1 at home to Wydad Casablanca of Morocco.
The result, after a 2-0 first leg loss, meant the five-time champions lost 1-3 on aggregate and would now play in the CAF Confederation Cup.
Malian Salif Coulibaly raised hopes of a second leg comeback for the multinational Mazembe side by scoring with a bullet header off a corner in the first half.
But Reda Hajhouj levelled with time almost up, shooting across Mazembe goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo into the far corner of the net in Lubumbashi.
It was the sixth goal this season in the premier African club competition for Hajhouj, one less than leading scorer Mfon Udoh of Enyimba.
Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa had hopes of reaching the group stage for the first time in 15 years dashed despite winning 2-1 at home against V Club of DR Congo.
Runners-up two seasons ago, V Club advanced on away goals after snatching a 1-0 stoppage-time victory in the first leg tie.
The match-winner in Kinshasa, Kule Mbombo, struck again on 39 minutes in Pretoria and Thabo Nthethe levelled from a softly-awarded penalty kick before half-time.
Tebogo Langerman put Sundowns ahead 15 minutes from time, but the usually clinical Zimbabwean Khama Billiat wasted a couple of late chances for the hosts.
Record eight-time African champions Al Ahly left it late to edge Young Africans of Tanzania 2-1 and qualify after failing to reach the group stage in the past two seasons.
Hossam Ghaly put Ahly ahead early in the second half only for Zimbabwean Donald Ngoma to equalise midway through the half.
Abdallah El-Said snatched the goal which won the match and the tie five minutes into stoppage time in Alexandria, qualifying 3-2 aggregate after a first leg 1-1 draw.
ASEC Mimosas of Cote d’Ivoire completed the line-up in spite of losing 1-2 to Al Ahly Tripoli of Libya in Tunisia.
The former champions qualified 3-2 on aggregate having built a two-goal lead in Abidjan.
The five clubs join in the group stage former title-holders Entente Setif of Algeria and Zamalek of Egypt, as well as Zesco United of Zambia, which had all qualified on Tuesday.