Saturday, February 18, 2017

CAF Champions League

Action from the qualifying round of the CAF Champions League resumed on Saturday with eight games.

At Omdurman, Sudan:

Al-Merrikh dominated visiting Sony Ela Nguema 4-1 in game two of their two-match series and took out the club from Equatorial Guinea 5-1 on aggregate.

At Niamey, Niger:

Despite dropping a 3-1 game-two road decision to AS FAN, AS Tanda from the Ivory Coast won their two-match series 4-3 on aggregate.

At Rabat, Morocco:

FUS Rabat (Morocco) vs. Johansen (Sierra Leone), game two (1-1 on aggregate after game one)

At Kigali, Rwanda:

Taonga Bwembya scored the game and series-winning goal in the 17th minute as Zanaco from Zambia defeated the Rwandan Patriotic Army (known by the French acronym APR) 1-0 on the road in game two and advanced to the first round proper by that same score on aggregate.

At Dar es Salaam, Tanzania:

A 1-1 game-two home deadlock with Ngaya Club of Comoros was more than good enough for Young Africans as the Tanzanian club handily won their two-match series 6-2 on aggregate.

At Gaborone, Botswana:

Despite dropping a 3-2 game-two road decision to Township Rollers, CNaPS Sport of Madagascar, with the aggregate score at 4-4, still won their series on away goals.

At Juba, South Sudan:

A 4-1 game-two road domination of Altabara enabled Coton Sport from Cameroon to finish off the South Sudanese club 6-1 on aggregate.

At Johannesburg, South Africa:

Bidvest Wits bounced back from their series-opening 2-1 setback by dominating visiting Saint-Louisienne from Reunion 3-1 in game two and won their series 4-3 on aggregate.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Copa Libertadores: Union Espanola Salvage Series-Opening Home Draw With The Strongest; Junior Dump Atletico Tucuman In Series Opener

Two games were contested on Thursday as the Copa Libertadores' playoff round reached its' midway point.

At Independencia, Chile:


Diego Churin's equalizer in the second minute of second-half stoppage time enabled Union Espanola to salvage a series-opening 1-1 home draw with The Strongest.  Alejandro Chumacero scored for the Bolivian club in the 27th minute.


At Cartagena, Colombia:

Robinson Aponza scored the game's lone goal at 71 minutes as Junior defeated visiting Atletico Tucuman 1-0 in the opening match of their two-game series.

Europa League: Knockout Stage Opens

16 games were contested on Thursday as the knockout stage of the Europa League opened, starting with the Round of 32.

At Bilbao, Spain:

Inaki Williams scored the winning goal in the 72nd minute as Athletic Bilbao held off visiting APOEL FC 3-2 in the opening match of their two-game series.

At Warsaw, Poland:

Legia Warsaw battled visiting Ajax Amsterdam to a 0-0 game one stalemate.

At Brussels, Belgium:

Frank Acheampong scored twice (5', 31')  in RSC Anderlecht's series-opening 2-0 home blanking of Zenit Saint Petersburg.

At Giurgiu, Romania:

Constantin Budescu (43') and Takayuki Seto (90') each scored once as Astra Giurgiu salvaged a series-opening 2-2 home draw with KRC Genk.  Timothy Castagne (25') and Leandro Trossard (83') each scored a goal for the Belgian club.

At Manchester, England:

Zlatan Ibrahimovic delivered a natural hat trick (15', 75', PK-88') in Manchester United's 3-0 series-opening home domination of Saint-Etienne.

At Villarreal, Spain:

Edin Dzeko delivered a natural hat trick of his own (65', 79', 86') as AS Roma demolished Villarreal 4-0 on the road in their series opener as the Italian club all but locked up a berth in the Round of 16.

At Sofia, Bulgaria:

Youssef Toutouh scored the winning goal in the 53rd minute as FC Copenhagen knocked off Ludogorets Razgrad 2-1 on the road in the opening match of their two-game series.

At Vigo, Spain:

Gustavo Blanco Luschuk scored the only goal of the match in the 27th minute as Shakhtar Donetsk downed Celta Vigo 1-0 on the road in their series opener.

At Piraeus, Greece:

Osmanlispor of Turkey held hosts Olypiacos to a series-opening 0-0 stalemate.

At Ghent, Belgium:

Jeremy Perbet scored the only goal of the match in the 59th minute as KAA Gent knocked off visiting Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 in their opening contest with the English club.

At Rostov-on-Don, Russia:

Miha Mevlja opened the scoring in the 15th minute as FC Rostov demolished visiting Sparta Prague 4-0 in their series opener.

At Krasnodar, Russia:

Viktor Claesson's fourth-minute goal stood up as FC Krasnodar defeated visiting Fenerbahce 1-0 in game one.

At Monchengladbach, Germany:

Federico Bernardeschi scored the game's lone goal in the 44th minute as Fiorentina knocked off Borussia Monchengladbach 1-0 on the road in the opening game of their two-contest series.

At Alkmaar, Netherlands:

Alexandre Lacazetts scored twice (45'+2, 57') as Lyon topped AZ Alkmaar 4-1 in the opening contest of their two-game series.

At Beersheba, Israel:

Cenk Tosun scored the game winner in the 60th minute as Besiktas knocked off Hapoel Be'er Sheva 3-1 on the road in their series opener.

At Thessaloniki, Greece:

Guido Burgstaller (27'), Max Meyer (82'), and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (90') each scored once as Schalke 04 dominated PAOK FC 3-0 on the road in the opening contest of their two-game series.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Copa Libertadores: Deportivo Capriata Gain Series-Opening Draw With Atletico Paranaense; Botafogo Get Best Of Club Olimpia At Home

The playoff round for Copa Libertadores group-stage play commenced with two games on Wednesday.

At Curitiba, Brazil:

Nestor Gonzalez scored twice (53', 89') as Deportivo Capriata gained a series-opening 3-3 road draw with Atletico Paranaense.  Felipe Gedoz scored twice (20', PK-59') for the hosts.

At Rio de Janeiro:

Rodrigo Pimpao scored the only goal of the match in the 37th minute as Botafogo defeated visiting Club Olimpia 1-0 in the opening contest of their two-game series.

UEFA Champions League: Solid Series-Opening Wins For Galacticos, Bayern

Two more games were contested in the UEFA Champions League's Round of 16 on Wednesday.

At Madrid:

Karim Benzema (18'), Toni Kroos (49'), and Casemiro (54') each scored once as Real Madrid downed visiting Napoli 3-1 in the opening match of their two-game series.  It appears that Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured here) seemed to enjoy himself.

Associated Press photo by Francisco Seco

At Munich, Germany:

Thiago Alcantara scored twice (58', 63') as Bayern Munich demolished visiting Arsenal 5-1 in their series opener.  Bayern's Arjen Robben, pictured here, celebrates after scoring his club's opening goal in the 11th minute.

AFP/Getty Images photo by Christof Stache

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

UEFA Champions League: PSG (Who Crush Barca), Benfica Grab Series Openers

Two Round-of-16 series commenced on Tuesday as the UEFA Champions League's knockout stage opened.

At Lisbon:
Kostas Mitroglou (Benfica)
Kostantinos Mitroglou (who celebrated with teammates here) scored the only goal of the match in the 48th minute as SL Benfica took the opening contest with Borussia Dortmund 1-0 at home.

Photo from UEFA website

At Paris:

Angel Di Maria scored twice (18', 55') as Paris Saint-Germain demolished visiting Barcelona 4-0 in the opening contest of their two-game series.  Here, we see Edinson Cavani celebrating after scoring for PSG in the 72nd minute.

Associated Press photo by Francois Mori

Sunday, February 12, 2017

CAF Champions League

The first qualifying round of the CAF Champions League continued on Sunday with seven games.

At Malabo, Equatorial Guinea:

Al-Merrikh of Sudan gained a series-opening 0-0 road draw with Sony Ela Nguema.

At Tamale, Ghana:

Libya's Al-Ahli Tripoli knocked off Wa All Stars 3-1 on the road in the opening match of their two-game series.

At Moroni, Comoros:

Young Africans all but locked up a berth in the first round as the Tanzanian club demolished Ngaya Club 5-1 on the road in match one.

At Monrovia, Liberia:

Barrack Young Controllers defeated visiting Stade Malien (Mali) 1-0 in the opening match of their two-game series.

At Bakau, The Gambia:

Gambia Ports Authority blanked visiting Sewe Sport of Ivory Coast 1-0 in their series opener.

At Garoua, Cameroon:

Coton Sport opened their series by blanking visiting Altabara of South Sudan 2-0.

At Dolisie, Republic of the Congo:

AC Leopards took the opening match of their series with UMS de Loum of Cameroon 1-0.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

CAF Champions League

The opening round of CAF Champions League qualifying continued on Saturday with 14 games.

At Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso:

Rail Club du Kadiogo dominated visiting Diables Noirs (Republic of the Congo) 3-0 in the opening match of their two-game series.

At Bamako, Mali:

Rivers United from Nigeria held hosts AS Real Bamako to a series-opening 0-0 stalemate.

At Abidjan, Ivory Coast:

AS Tanda dominated visiting AS FAN (Niger) 3-0 in their series opener.

At Dakar, Senegal:

Guinean club Horoya gained a series-opening 0-0 road draw with US Goree.

At Freetown, Sierra Leone:

FUS Rabat gained a series-opening 1-1 road deadlock with FC Johansen.

At Libreville, Gabon:

CF Mounana opened their series with Burundi's Vital'O with a 2-0 home victory.

At Lusaka, Zambia:

Armee Patriotique Rwandaise FC from Rwanda held hosts Zanaco FC to a series-opening 0-0 stalemate.

At Zanzibar City, Zanzibar:

Zimamoto took the opening contest of their series with Mozambique's  Ferroviario Beira 2-1 at home.

At Lobamba, Swaziland:

The Democratic Republic of the Congo's AS Vita Club took their series opener with Royal Leopards 2-1 on the road.

At Antananarivo, Madagascar:

CNaPS Sport took the opening match of their two-game series with Botswana's Township Rollers 2-1 at home.  Bourahim Jaotombo (45'+1) and Njiva Rakotoharimalala (74') each scored once for the hosts.  Segolame Boy kept the visitors in the series with his tally in the 60th minute.

At Saint-Louis, Reunion:

Saint-Louisienne took their opening match with South Africa's Bidvest Wits 2-1 at home.

At Maseru, Lesotho:

Lioli FC and visiting CAPS United (Zimbabwe) battled to a series-opening 0-0 stalemate.

At Praslin, Seychelles:

Saint George of Ethiopia, thanks to a pair of goals from Saladin Said (40', 61'), knocked off Cote d'Or 2-0 on the road in game one of their two-match series.

At Nairobi, Kenya:

AS Port-Louis 2000 of Mauritius gained a series-opening 1-1 road draw with Tusker FC.

Friday, February 10, 2017

CAF Champions League Qualifying Opens

Two games opened the opening round of CAF Champions League qualifying.

At Kampala, Uganda:

Geofrey Serunkuuma scored the only goal of the match in the 48th minute as Kampala City Council Authority FC took the opening match of their two-game series with CD Primeiro de Augusto (Angola) 1-0.

At Bechar, Algeria:

Bobby Clement's equalizer in the 39th minute lifted Nigeria's Enugu Rangers to a series-opening 1-1 road draw with JS Saoura.  Abderrahmane Bourdim scored for the Algerian club in the 32nd minute.