CAF Cup Heartbreak for Brave Bizerte
A last-minute goal took Stade Abidjan of Ivory Coast into the African Football Confederation (CAF) quarter-finals after a dramatic clash with CA Bizerte of Tunisia this weekend.
Stade appeared comfortably placed in the second-round tie after building a 3-0 home lead three weeks ago only to find themselves trailing by four goals with one minute left of the return match.
But Inza Bayoko struck with the referee checking his watch in the northern town of Bizerte and although Stade suffered a humiliating 4-1 loss, the 1966 African champions scraped through on the away-goal rule.
It was hard luck on Bizerte, who would have equaled the best comeback in the annual competition for national league runners-up had they held on.
ASMO of Gabon overturned a 3-0 deficit by defeating Kaloum of Guinea 5-1 in 1992.
Brazilian Concalves Anderson triggered the recovery with a 20th-minute goal and when he and Fethi Mechergui struck within 60 seconds just before half time, the teams were level on aggregate.
Issam Hamdi scored a fourth Tunisian goal after 78 minutes and Stade dreams of emulating neighbors Stella, who lifted the Moshood Abiola Cup seven years ago, seemed to have been dashed.
The other Tunisian contenders for the CAF Cup, title holders Etoile Sahel, lost 2-1 in Senegal to Sugar Company, who snatched a last-minute winner from Abdoulaye Samb.
Sahel, who have won the competition twice and been runners-up once, still qualified for the quarterfinals draw in Cairo on May 30 thanks to a 3-0 first-leg triumph.
Ousmane Diop put the Senegalese ahead after 29 minutes in Dakar and Etoile ensured there would be no surprise result by leveling with 55 minutes gone through Mohamed Mekacher.
There was a shock in the Cup Winners Cup with JS Tenere of Niger defeating Stade Malien of Mali 1-0 in Bamako to advance 2-1 on aggregate. Abdoul Moumouni scored the 17th-minute winner.
Tenere were eliminated by USMA of Algeria in the first round only to be reinstated when their conquerors were found guilty of fielding an ineligible player – (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)