Angolan giants and last season’s Caf Champions League semifinalists Primeiro Agosto were beaten 2-0 by unheralded AS Otoho D’Oyo from Congo Brazzaville and stumbled out of the Caf Champions League on the away goals rule on Wednesday.
The cue of what befell Agosto was always there following an early scare in the first leg at home last week when they had to come from behind to win 4-2 after Otoho had raced ahead early into the match.
The two away goals that Otoho scored in Luanda proved to be crucial as the 4-4 aggregate scoreline doomed the Angolans.
Otoho simply completed a good outing against an Agosto side that sent giants TP Mazembe packing out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage last season, before making eventual champions Esperance sweat in the semifinals.
Otoho will now face Zimbabwean champions FC Platinum in the next round as their bid to reach the group stages intensifies.
The platinum miners edged CNaPS of Madagascar 1-0 to proceed on a 2-1 aggregate scoreline after a 1-1 draw away in Antananarivo seven days earlier.
Striker Rodwell Chinyangetere scored the all-important goal that took FC Platinum into the next round as they seek to reach the group stages for the very first time.
Having began their season in January preparing for the doomed 2018 Champions League outing in which they were eliminated in the preliminary round as well as the Zimbabwe Premier League campaign, FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza now feels fatigue is catching up with his players.
“My worry is now for the boys we have been playing football since January and it is not easy for the boys but I am happy our recovery programme has been going on well,” Mapeza told The Herald.
Elsewhere, Zambian giants Nkana booted out Mozambican giants UD Songo who competed in the group stages last season, to set up a date with Tanzanian heavyweights Simba SC.
Kelvin Mubanga converted from the penalty spot to hand Nkana a 1-0 win at home in Kitwe, and a 3-1 aggregate scoreline.
Meeting Simba would make this first-round clash one of the most anticipated ties.
Simba appear to be in the form of their life after eliminating Mbabane Swallows 8-1 on aggregate, including a 4-0 win away in eSwatini.
Swallows took part in the group stages last season and suffering such a heavy defeat could highlight Simba’s statement of intent in this season’s Caf Champions League.