Confederation Cup: Ghana's Hearts of Oak suffer in north Africa again

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The Confederation Cup trophy

Ghanaian champions Hearts of Oak crashed out of the Confederation Cup on Sunday after another defeat in north Africa.

The 2004 winners lost 4-0 in the remote west Algerian city of Bechar to JS Saoura, who completed a 4-2 aggregate win.

Hearts began the 2021-22 continental campaign in the African Champions League, but exited in the final qualifying round after being thrashed 6-1 by Wydad Casablanca in Morocco, after a 1-0 win at home in the first leg.

Hopes were high that Hearts would fare better against debutants Saoura after establishing a two-goal advantage last weekend.

But the Algerians netted twice in the first half of the return match to level the tie on aggregate, and early and late second-half goals took them into the group-stage draw, which will be held on 23 December in Cairo.

Abdeljalil Saad was first to score for the hosts, Oussama Bellatreche netted either side of half-time and Abdelaziz Lahmeri completed the rout two minutes from time.

Rivers United of Nigeria were another club from west Africa to struggle in the north as they lost 1-0 to Al Masry in Egypt to lose their play-off on the away goals rule.

The only goal of the second leg in Alexandria came after just 14 minutes from Mohamed Grendo.

Nigeria's most successful club in continental competition, Enyimba had better luck as they beat Libyan visitors Al Ittihad 2-0 in a delayed first leg.

Sadiq Abubakar and Victor Mbaoma scored in the first half for the two-time African champions. No date has been set for the second leg.

Former Champions League winners TP Mazembe from the DR Congo and Asec Mimosas of the Ivory Coast were among 14 clubs to secure group places so far.

After a shock exit from the Champions League, Mazembe forced a 0-0 draw away to South African minnows Marumo Gallants in Polokwane and won 1-0 on aggregate thanks to a first-leg own-goal.

Mazembe are the only side from DR Congo to progress to the group stages of the tournament after Maniema Union suffered a second 1-0 defeat by Pyramids of Egypt while DC Motema Pembe were eliminated by Gendarmerie Nationale of Niger despite a 1-0 home win.

Teenager Karim Konate followed up a first-leg brace by scoring the second goal as Asec triumphed 3-2 over Angolan team InterClube having taken a two-goal lead to Luanda.

Confederation Cup play-offs results on Sunday:

First leg:

  • Enyimba (Nigeria) 2-0 Al Ittihad (Libya)

Second legs:

  • Binga (Mali) 2-0 Zanaco (Zambia) - Zanaco won 3-2 on aggregate
  • Marumo Gallants (South Africa) 0-0 TP Mazembe (DR Congo) - Mazembe won 1-0 on aggregate
  • Coton Sport (Cameroon) 2-0 Nouadhibou (Mauritania) - Coton won 2-0 on aggregate
  • Gor Mahia (Kenya) 1-1 Otoho (Congo) - Otoho won 2-1 on aggregate
  • CS Sfaxien (Tunisia) 1-0 Tusker (Kenya) - Sfaxien won 1-0 on aggregate
  • Al Masry (Egypt) 1-0 Rivers Utd (Nigeria) - Masry won on away goals after 2-2 draw on aggregate
  • Red Arrows (Zambia) 2-1 Simba (Tanzania) - Simba won 4-2 on aggregate
  • InterClube (Angola) 2-3 Asec Mimosas (Ivory Coast) - Asec won 5-2 on aggregate
  • DC Motema Pembe (DR Congo) 1-0 Gendarmerie Nationale (Niger) - Gendarmerie won 2-1 on aggregate
  • Renaissance Berkane (Morocco) 2-1 APR (Rwanda) - Berkane won 2-1 on aggregate
  • JS Saoura (Algeria) 4-0 Hearts of Oak (Ghana) - Saoura won 4-2 on aggregate
  • Al Ahly Tripoli (Libya) 1-0 Stade Malien (Mali) - Ahly won 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw on aggregate
  • Pyramids (Egypt) 1-0 Maniema Union (DR Congo) - Pyramids won 2-0 on aggregate
  • JS Kabylie (Algeria) P-P Royal Leopard (Eswatini) - postponed because of Covid 19-related travel restrictions, Leopards lead 1-0 on aggregate
  • Orlando Pirates (South Africa) C-C LPRC Oilers (Liberia) - cancelled after Oilers withdrew, Pirates won first leg 2-0
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