Only Al Ahly win in the first leg CAF Champions League quarterfinals; the rest in goalless draws

* Former champions TP Mazembe held to goalless draw at home by Angola’s Petro de Luanda

* Tanzania’s Young Africans hold former title holders Mamelodi Sundowns in Dar er Salaam

* Côte d’Ivoire’s Asec Mimosas walked away the happier side when they frustrated Esperance Sportive de Tunis

Maravi Express

Of the four quarterfinals of the CAF Champions League only defending champions, Al Ahly SC edged out Tanzanian giants, Simba SC 1-0 away in Dar es Salaam on Friday as the rest ended in goalless draws.

Al Ahly in Dar es Salaam on Friday

The North African giants went back to Cairo to prepare for the second leg next week hoping to wrap up the two-legged tie with a win in front of their fans.

But former champions TP Mazembe failed to take advantage of home ground against Petro de Luanda, who battled to a goalless draw in Lubumbashi played last evening.

There was also nothing to separate the other quarterfinal in Dar er Salaam when Tanzanian side, Young Africans held former champions Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa.

Côte d’Ivore’s Asec Mimosas walked away the happier side away in Tunis by by frustrated north African giants Esperance Sportive de Tunis to a goalless stalemate.

The return legs will be see Mamelodi Sundowns hosting Young Africans and Al Ahly SC playing host to Simba SC — both on Friday, April 5 with the next day seeing TP Mazembe away to Luanda against Atletico Petroleos and Asec Mimosas hosting Esperance.


Of the eight quarter finalists, three are yet to taste continental success with Al Ahly having won 11 titles, TP Mazembe (5), Esperance (4), Asec Mimosas (1) and Mamelodi Sundowns (1) — who are also the 2023 African Football League champions.

According to report by CAFonline, a packed to the rafters Benjamin Mkapa Stadium saw 60,000 Tanzanians in full voice to witness last season’s CAF Confederation Cup finalists taking on the inaugural African Football League champions.

While the fixture failed to produce a goal, the match was nothing short of entertaining as both sides gave it their all but were met with equally good defending and goalkeeping on either side.

True to their enterprising style, Sundowns kept most of the ball possession, hoping to tire out their hosts who stood their ground and responded with quick counter-attacks.

Yanga were the first to have a sniff at goal in the 27th minute when Clement Mzize was through on goal but disappointingly fired a straight shot that was easily gathered by the in-form Ronwen Williams.

With just seconds before the break, Teboho Mokoena unleashed one of his trademark long distance strikes which almost caught Djigui Diarra off guard.

Coming back from the recess, it was the hosts who had the better chances, despite Sundowns having more of the possession.

Mzize was back in the Sundowns danger area again in the 57th minute when he rose above his markers to connect with a Stephane Aziz Ki cross that went just off target with Williams rooted to the ground.


Yanga’s best opportunity came in the 68th minute when Kennedy Musonda found himself one-on-one with Williams, but it was the Sundowns shot stopper who came out top as he made the save to deny the hosts the lead.

The match continued to be a highly tactical affair, with both sides attacking with caution and defending in numbers as it ended goalless.

In Tunis, CAFonline reports that despite being starved of possession; the Côte d’Ivoire said were the first to get a chance at goal after loss of possession in the danger area by Raed Bouchniba concluded with Karidioula Mofosse almost capitalizing on the error but saw his effort go wide off target.

The Tunisians eventually had a sniff at goal just before the half hour mark after Ghaylen Chaleli’s dangerous ball almost caught the keeper off guard, who did just enough to fist it away from danger.

In the second stanza, the hosts continued from where they left off as they surged forward in search of the opener.

The introduction of fresh legs by coach Miguel Cardoso injected much-needed pace in the hosts’ attack.

Second half substitute, Oussema Bouguerra was unlucky not to have found the opener after a well struck effort from outside the box had Ayayi Folly well beaten but was fortunate to see the ball come off the woodwork.

Midfield sensation, Houssem Tka should have broken the deadlock in the 74th minute after doing well to rise above his markers for his header to go just off target.

Despite being under severe pressure throughout the match, the Ivorians did well to absorb and thwart most of the attacks, as they escaped the north African nation with a confidence boosting draw ahead of the return leg next weekend.