Connect to share and comment

Football: Record goal scorers Bitam face Heartland

PlacardEnlarge
(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Record-breaking 17-goal Gabonese club US Bitam are in Nigeria this weekend for a CAF Confederation Cup last-32 clash with Heartland.

But after five goals away to Desportivo Guadalupe from Sao Tome e Principe and a further 12 at home in a preliminary tie, Bitam are likely to find scoring much more difficult in the south-eastern city Owerri.

While Bitam are competing in the second-tier African club competition for the first time, Heartland reached the round of 16 last year before losing on away goals to eventual champions AFC Leopards from Congo Brazzaville.

Heartland, who qualified by successfully defending the Nigerian FA Cup, fared even better in 2006, reaching the play-offs for places in the mini-league phase of a competition that partially copies the Europa League.

Franck Guedegbe struck five goals and Arnold Yembi and Junior Bayanho two each in the 12-1 second-leg rout that eclipsed a 9-0 triumph by SuperSport United from South Africa over Red Star of Seychelles eight years ago.

Heartland had a preliminary round bye and may be rusty with the national league kicking off only last weekend and the African hopefuls suffered a surprise 2-1 home defeat by promoted Nembe City.

Lobi Stars, who gained entry by finishing third in the Nigerian championship behind Kano Pillars and Enugu Rangers, also enjoy home advantage first against Liga Muculmana of Mozambique in Makurdi.

Muculmana edged Gaborone United of Botswana 3-2 with Reginaldo scoring the tie-clincher just one minute into the second leg while Lobi were another side given a free passage into the second of four elimination phases.

Gor Mahia of Kenya, winners of the now defunct African Cup Winners Cup in 1987, confront ENPPI in Egypt hoping to recapture the form that yielded five goals against Anse Reunion in the Seychelles.

After five Confederation Cup outings over three seasons without a win or a goal, the Nairobi outfit took a first-minute lead via Paul Kiongera and Christopher Wekesa, Edwin Lavatsa and Kevin Omondi also found the target.

SuperSport United of South Africa edged CS Don Bosco of Democratic Republic of Congo in a preliminary tie and are away to Petro Atletico of Angola in a clash of clubs used to the African football rigours.

Barrack Young Controllers II achieved a rare CAF success for Liberia when they ousted Johansens of Sierra Leone and they face Azam from Tanzania, whose 8-1 thrasing of South Sudan newcomers Al Nasir included a Khamis Mche hat-trick.

Title-holders AFC Leopards of Congo Brazzaville -- the third Confederation Cup winners in a row to go all the way from the preliminary phase -- are competing in the CAF Champions League this season.

However, should the Congolese exit the elite competition in the final qualifying round, they would drop to the Confederation Cup play-offs and have a chance to retain the trophy.

dl/bc

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130315/football-record-goal-scorers-bitam-face-heartland