Caf Champions League wrap: Pillars, Zesco secure wins, Pirates and Enyimba fall to defeats

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Gambo Mohammed-Asante Kotoko Vs Kano Pillars
Saturday’s games were thrilling encounters, with many goals as only two of the 12 fixtures ended scoreless

Kano Pillars showed their mettle in the first-leg of their Caf Champions League preliminary round game against Ghanaian outfit Asante Kotoko to turn around a second-half deficit before claiming a 3-2 win at the Sani Abacha Stadium.

Pillars went ahead in the 13th minute through Paul Hillary, before second-half goals from Justice Blay, in the 48th minute, and Godfred Asiamah, in the 64th minute, threatened to ruin the home side’s day.

However, Victor Dennis and Nyima Nekabari netted for Masu Gida to help them to a victory against their West African neighbours.

Elsewhere, goals from Kasumba Umaru and John Ching'andu saw Zesco United secure a relatively comfortable 2-0 win against Green Mamba, which puts them in a good position for the reverse fixture in Zambia on August 24.

Orlando Pirates were defeated 1-0 by Green Eagles at Nkoloma Stadium after a Spencer Sautu strike. Bucs didn’t recover and will now have to turn the deficit around in the return fixture at Orlando Stadium in two weeks.

Enyimba lost to Rahimo by the same scoreline owing to Issouf Zonon’s strike on the half-hour mark. The People’s Elephant will seek a response when they welcome the Burkina Faso outfit to Enyimba International Stadium on August 23.

In Windhoek, African Stars had Youssouf Ibroihim to thank for his brace which took them over the line against Kampala City as they won 3-2.

An Ivan Kamberipa own goal in the 13th minute saw the home side fall behind early on, but Ambrosius Amseb kept his composure to level for the Namibia outfit just before the interval.

Ibroihim then put the home side ahead in the 71st minute, but the visiting side equalized with seven minutes remaining.

Nonetheless, Ibroihim had the final say in the 85th minute to seal a hard-fought win at Sam Nujoma Stadium.

In Brikama, a pair of goals from Badr Benoun and Mouhssine Moutouali aided Raja Casablanca’s 3-3 draw away at Brikama United.

Adama Manneh and a Momodou Bojang brace for the home side saw both sides play out to an entertaining six-goal thriller.

The Moroccan side will want to press home their advantage when they face off at Stade Mohammed V in a fortnight.

Guinean outfit Horoya had to make do with a draw in their away trip at Stade Malien, as it ended 1-1.

HAC opened the scoring just after half-time courtesy of a Godfred Asante strike in the 49th minute and seemed to have sealed a slender win.

However, a last-gasp Moussa Kone strike saw the Malians snatch a draw at Modibo Keita Stadium.

Meanwhile, Amanuel Gebremikael’s scored a crucial away goal for Ethiopian champions Mekelle 70 Enderta in their 2-1 defeat by Cano Sport Academy.

Tanzanian outfit KMKM fell to a disappointing 2-0 home defeat against Primeiro de Agosto. Second-half strikes from Ary Papel and Leonel Yombi have put the Angolan side in the driving seat for the reverse fixture on August 24.

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Young Africans avoided the same fate as KMKN after a late Patrick Sibomana penalty saw the Tanzanians cancel out Phenyo Serameng’s eighth-minute goal for Township Rollers as they played out to a 1-1 draw at National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

The final two games between UD Songo and Simba SC, as well as Nyasa Big Bullets and FC Platinum ended without goals.

The second-legs of the aforementioned preliminary games will be held between August 23-25.