African Champions League: Angola's Petro Atletico 'can still do more'

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Petro Atletico's Pedro Pessoa Miguel (left) kicks the ball away from Mamelodi Sundowns' Lesedi KapingaPetro Atletico have reached the African Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2001

Angolan side Petro Atletico "can still do more" in the African Champions League after beating South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns in the quarter-finals.

Petro forced a 1-1 draw in the second leg of their tie at Soccer City in Johannesburg on Saturday to advance to their first semi-final appearance in 21 years with a 3-2 aggregate victory, setting off wild celebrations amid the stunned silence of the 20,000-strong home crowd.

Petro's reward is a last-four meeting with Wydad Casablanca, who they finished behind in Group D earlier this moth.

"My players have told me this is not the end of the adventure for us. They say we can still do more," Petro coach Alexandre Santos said.

"The strength of this collective is because it's not one player, not two players. We are a team. Even if we had lost, I'm proud of them but, of course, I'm much happier that we won.

"I think it was the mentality and belief in our philosophy from the players that did it."

In the group phase Petro beat Wydad 2-1 in Luanda in February but then lost 5-1 in Casablanca last month, albeit after both teams had already secured their passage into the knockout stages.

With the Angolan club having earned a narrow 2-1 win at home many expected them to employ a defensive strategy but Santos and his players decided they would play their more natural attacking game.

"The easy plans was to play with a more defensive strategy, more players in defensive positions. We could do that. We did it away against Zamalek in the group phase," said Santos.

"But I felt, after the game in Luanda, that if I proposed that strategy to the team, they would have believed in it but I don't think they would have liked it because they like to attack.

"I believe in listening to my players and my players felt that it would be better to put out the same strategy as the first leg."

Petro were on the back foot for most of the game but never sat back, and were always looking for counter attacking opportunities.

They went one down after the break as Kenya's Brian Mandela scored, but equalised through a penalty awarded after a video assistant referee review which was converted by Thiago Azulao, the Brazilian who is the top scorer in this season's Champions League.

Holders Al Ahly progress

Players of ES Setif celebrate their victory over Esperance of Tunisia in the African Champions LeagueAlgerian club Entente Setif, African champions in 1988 and 2014, set up a semi-final tie against holders Al Ahly

Wydad advanced to the last four with a 1-0 aggregate win over Algeria's CR Belouizdad, who finished the game with 10 men after the dismissal of Toufik Moussaoui, after the two sides drew 0-0 in Morocco on Saturday.

In Friday's quarter-final second legs there were aggregate wins for defending champions Al Ahly of Egypt and Algeria's Entente Setif, with the two sides set to meet in the semi-finals.

Al Ahly forced a 1-1 draw away at Morocco's Raja Casablanca for a 3-2 overall victory, while Setif upset Esperance of Tunisia 1-0 in Rades to win by the same score on aggregate.

Defending a 2-1 lead from the first leg in Cairo, Ahly made a disastrous start, falling behind within five minutes when Fabrice Ngoma nodded a cross into the net at the far post.

Then, as was the case a week earlier, Ahly missed a penalty when Anas Zniti brilliantly pushed away Ali Maaloul's effort.

Trailing on away goals, Ahly had to score to keep alive hopes of winning the Champions League a record third consecutive time.

The goal that put them level on the night and ahead on aggregate came from an unlikely source with centre-back Mohamed Abdelmonem scoring through a near-post header just before half-time.

Setif, twice African champions, eliminated Esperance through a 21st-minute goal by captain Abdelmoumene Djabou.

The semi-finals will be played in May with the first legs scheduled for the weekend of the 6-7 and the return matches a week later.

The single-match final of the premier African club competition, which carries a $2.5 million (2.1m euros) first prize, is set for May 29 at a venue yet to be announced.

TP Mazembe and Pirates through in Confederation Cup

In the Confederation Cup quarter-finals South Africa's Orlando Pirates beat Tanzania's Simba on penalties after the tie finished 1-1 on aggregate.

Pirates won a stoppage-ridden quarter-final second leg 1-0 in Soweto thanks to a headed goal from Ghanaian forward Kwame Peprah, with TV replays shown belatedly suggesting he was offside.

The only goal came just after Democratic Republic of Congo-born Simba forward Crispin Mugalu, who had been cautioned earlier, was shown a red card for a studs-up tackle.

Unlike Europe, where ties go to extra time first, Africa heads straight to penalties and Pirates won the shootout 4-3 with Ghanaian goalkeeper Richard Ofori converting the kick that took the Buccaneers through.

Pirates will now face Al Ahly Tripoli after they beat Libyan rivals Al Ittihad 1-0 on Sunday following a goalless draw in the first leg.

The other semi-final will pit TP Mazembe of DR Congo against 2020 Confederation Cup winners Renaissance Berkane of Morocco.

After forcing a goalless draw away to Pyramids of Egypt last weekend, Mazembe overcame missing a penalty to triumph 2-0 on the day and on aggregate.

Christian Koffi atoned for his spot-kick miss by breaking the deadlock on 33 minutes and Jephte Bola added a second goal just before half-time.

Berkane beat visiting Al Masry of Egypt 1-0 and progressed on the away goals rule, which is still in effect in African competitions, after the tie finished 2-2 on aggregate.

Youssef El Fahli scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot in the seventh minute.

African Champions League quarter-final second leg results:

  • Raja Casablanca 1-1 Al Ahly (2-3 agg)
  • Esperance 0-1 Entente Setif (0-1 agg)
  • Mamelodi Sundowns 1-1 Petro Atletico (2-3 agg)
  • Wydad Casablanca 0-0 CR Belouizdad (1-0 agg)

Caf Confederation Cup quarter-finals second leg results:

  • TP Mazembe 2-0 Pyramids (2-0 agg)
  • Orlando Pirates 1-0 Simba (1-1 agg - Pirates win 4-3 on penalties)
  • Al Ahly Tripoli 1-0 Al Ittihad (1-0 agg)
  • Renaissance Berkane 1-0 Al Masry (2-2 agg - Berkane win on away goals)
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