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CAF Champions League: Sundowns Survive, Rivers Utd Crashes

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The African Champions League title-holders, Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa, survived a scare in Kampala on Saturday as they drew 1-1 at KCCA to progress to the group phase of this year’s competition.
Sundowns went to Uganda leading 2-1 from penultimate weekend’s home leg, with the Kampala City outfit buoyed by their away goal.
It was KCCA who went ahead in the second leg of the last-32 tie, leaving the defending champions stunned.
Geoffrey Sserunkuma, who had scored in all three of Kampala City’s African Champions League games during this campaign, netted again after half an hour to make it 1-0 on the day and 2-2 on aggregate.
Crucially, because of their away-goal, that strike also meant that if the score stayed that way, KCCA would oust the holders and advance to the last sixteen.
However, the hosts’ fairy-tale run came to an end ten minutes from time when substitute Anthony Laffor of Liberia smashed the ball into the net to equalise and give Sundowns a 3-2 aggregate lead.
That was how the match ended, with Laffor later revealing what his coach Pitso Mosimane had urged him to do before coming off the bench.
“I’m happy to have been trusted to make the difference,” Laffor said on Sundowns’ official twitter feed.
“The coach said to me that I must get in the box and fight,” the Liberian added.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Bakry Al Madina scored a hat-trick as Al Merrikh of Sudan trounced Rivers United of Nigeria 4-0 to snatch a group place.
Merrikh qualified 4-3 on aggregate after a dramatic recovery from a three-goal first leg loss last weekend in the last-32 tie.
Experienced Al Madina opened the scoring after eight minutes in Omdurman and completed his hat-trick on the stroke of half-time.
USM Alger of Algeria, the 2015 runners-up, secured a group slot despite playing 65 minutes with 10 men in a 1-0 defeat by Rail Kadiogo in Burkina Faso.
Amir Sayoud, who scored in a 2-0 first leg win by USM, was sent off after two yellow cards and Mohamed Kahan scored the Kadiogo goal on 53 minutes.
Hopes of a Madagascar club reaching the group stage for the first time were dashed when CNaPS Sport were held 1-1 by Coton Sport of Cameroon in Antananarivo.
Coton took a 1-0 first leg lead and doubled their overall advantage when Souleymanou Moussa struck on the hour mark.
Zanaco of Zambia were another team to progress, although they could only draw 0-0 with Young Africans of Tanzania in Lusaka.
The Zambians won on away goals after drawing 1-1 in Dar es Salaam a week ago.
Another nine second legs were decided yesterday.

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CAFCC: Supporters Club Chairman Frowns Against Stadium Rejection

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The  Chairman of  Rivers United  Supporters Club, Franklin Owhor, has frowned against the rejection of the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt to host any of  CAF Confederation’s Cup, (CAFCC) games.
He said the rejection will deny United to get total home support when the CAFCC competiition starts next week, saying that playing at home has its own peculiar advantage.
Owhor said this on Wednesday  in a telephone interview with Tidesports after the reports from CAF that said the   Nigeria Professional Football League ( NPFL) champions had  adopted the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo for their home matches.
CAF has earlier asked the management of Rivers United to renovate the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, to International standard, saying that the Stadium lack some basic  facilities to host international football competitions.
“ We will still give our maximum support to our team  even though the matches will be played in Uyo, but it is painful that we are playing our home games outside our home.
“ I remember when  Rivers United FC played in Enyimba Stadium sometimes ago, it was not so good for the team  and  we saw what happened .
“But I will say that Godswill Akpabio International Stadium is like a home to Rivers United FC, you can see we defeated Dakkada FC in Uyo so we conceived no tension and fear.
“I use this opportunity to appeal to the State Government through Ministry of Sports to try their best and  return” the team back  to its base, ‘ Owhor said.

By: Kiadum Edookor

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NPFL: Boboye Denies Wikki Tourists Move

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Former Akwa United coach, Kennedy Boboye, has dissociated himself from speculations linking him with the coaching job of Nigeria Professional Football League side, Wikki Tourists Tidesports source reports.
The Wikki job became vacant after former handler, Kabiru Dogo, resigned his appointment after amassing only one point in four games.
Following Dogo’s exit, reports have linked the former Plateau United and Sunshine Stars coach with the Giant Elephants, as tweeted by league journalist, Taye Hassan, on Wednesday.
“Kennedy Boboye could be the next tactician to be in Wikki Tourists dugout as information is coming in from a close source in Bauchi,” Hassan posted.
However, Boboye waved off the speculation in a telephone interview with Tidesports source.
“Anything you guys see, just conclude with it, I have been hearing this thing since yesterday,” Boboye said.
While Wikki Tourists have also confirmed the exit of Dogo, the club has put head coach Abdullah Adamu in charge of the squad.
After his spell with Sunshine Stars in 2015, Boboye won the league with Plateau United and Akwa United in 2017 and 2022 respectively, leaving both jobs the following season.

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Bendel Insurance Coach Set To Win LBA Award

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Bendel Insurance coach Monday Odigie has emerged as the clear favourite to win the League Bloggers Coach of The Month Award for January in the already five-week-old 2022/23 Nigeria Professional Football League.
Odigie is contending with Lobi Stars Mohammed Baba-Ganaru, Stanley Eguma of Rivers United as well as Daniel Ogunmodede of Remo Stars for the award.
From their respective numbers in the month under review, Odigie stands above the rest with four wins in four games. Baba-Ganaru, Eguma and Ogunmodede all secured three wins in four matches for their respective teams.
Also, Odigie’s Bendel Insurance have met Remo this season with the Benin Arsenal reigning supreme with a 3-0 win in Benin City.
In the Player of The month category, current league top scorer and Bendel Insurance forward Osarenkhoe Imade also leads the pack with his impressive four goals in four games in the month under review.
Imade scored his first goal on the opening day against Akwa United in Uyo, before following it up with further strikes against Plateau United, Kwara United and Remo.
Other players in the running for the award include Imade’s strike partner, Ismael Sarki, who scored three goals in January; Insurance goalkeeper, Amas Obasogie, who kept three clean sheets.
Lobi Stars duo Joseph Atule and Kumaga Suur and Onyebuchi Ifeanyi of Plateau United are also on the nomination list.

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