Caf Confederation Cup: Marumo Gallants join Mamelodi Sundowns in Africa quarter-finals despite Al Akhdar loss

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Lesiba Nku & Letsie Koapeng, Marumo Gallants, March 2023
Marumo Gallants joined Mamelodi Sundowns in the quarter-finals of a Caf inter-club competition despite their loss to Al Akhdar on Sunday night.
  • The group stage debutants reach the last eight
  • Mvelase netted Bahlabane Ba Ntwa's consolation goal
  • The PSL side will now lock horns with Lupopo

WHAT HAPPENED?: Bahlabane Ba Ntwa succumbed to a 4-1 defeat to the Libyan club in a Caf Confederation Cup Group A game at Benina Martyrs Stadium in Benghazi.

Goals from Anas Abd Alraheem (brace), Mohamed Makari and Ary Papel earned the Green and Whites an emphatic win over their visitors.

While Mpho Mvelase grabbed group stage debutants' consolation goal a minute after the hour-mark. 

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ALL EYES ON: Katlego Otladisa, who led the Bahlabane Ba Ntwa's attack with the team's top scorer in the current season, Ranga Chivaviro not part of the matchday squad.

The former Sundowns winger, who has never scored a goal in a Caf inter-club tournament, was contained by the Al Akhdar defenders, and it was evident that the team was missing Chivaviro.

It is unclear why Chivaviro was absent, and coach Dylan Kerr will be hoping that the Limpopo-born player becomes available for their next match. 

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Despite losing to Al Akhdar, Gallants progressed to the knockout phase of the Confederation Cup.

The 2021 Nedbank Cup champions joined their PSL rivals, Sundowns, in the quarter-finals of continental football, with Masandawana having booked their spot in the Caf Champions League last eight.

Bahlabane Ba Ntwa are placed at the top of Confederation Cup Group A standings - a point above second-placed USM Alger of Algeria with one match left.

WHAT IS NEXT FOR GALLANTS?: Bahlabane Ba Ntwa are scheduled to host Saint Eloi Lupopo at Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto on April 2.

Gallants will be looking to complete a double over Lupopo, having defeated the DR Congolese side 2-1 in their previous Group A meeting in Zambia last month.