Football: Mozambican club spring another surprise

CAF Confederation Cup surprise package Liga Muculmana of Mozambique claimed a notable scalp at the weekend with a 2-0 home victory against Moroccan outfit Wydad Casablanca.

Sonito put the Maputo club ahead midway through the first half of the last-16, first leg with his sixth African goal this season and Miro added a potentially crucial second goal in the last minute.

Muculmana created headlines this month by thrashing Lobi Stars from Nigeria 7-1 in the Mozambican capital -- one of the most humiliating reverses suffered by a club from the west African nation at CAF level.

While Liga have made no previous impact in Africa, Wydad are former winners of the CAF Champions League and the African Cup Winners Cup and have been among the leading Moroccan clubs for decades.

Muculmana hope to avoid the fate suffered by the national team, who defeated Morocco 2-0 at home in a 2013 Cup of Nations qualifier only to crumble 4-0 away and miss out on the tournament in South Africa.

Etoile Sahel of Tunisia, the only side to win all five CAF club competitions, look set to progress after holding Recreativo Caala 1-1 in the central Angolan city Huambo.

Lassaad Jaziri put 2006 Confederation Cup title holders Etoile ahead after 25 minutes and Caala equalised three minutes into stoppage time through Senegalese Alioune Gueye.

There was a scarcity of goals with only nine in eight matches, and three of those came from CS Sfaxien of Tunisia while reduced to 10 men against Diables Noirs of Congo Brazzaville.

Sfaxien won 3-1, ASEC Mimosas of Ivory Coast edged Lydia Academic of Burundi 1-0 in Abidjan, and Muculmana were the only other winners in the second-tier CAF club championship.

There were 0-0 draws between ENPPI of Egypt and SuperSport United of South Africa, USMA of Algeria and US Bitam of Gabon, Al-Ahly Shandy of Sudan and Ismaily of Egypt and Azam of Tanzania and FAR Rabat of Morocco.

The aggregate winners after the May 3-5 return matches advance to play-offs against CAF Champions League last-16 losers with eight group-phase places up for grabs.

Winners of the competition include Sfaxien (twice) and Etoile of Tunisia, FAR, FUS Rabat and Moghreb Fes of Morocco, Hearts of Oak of Ghana, Stade Malien of Mali and AC Leopards of Congo Brazzaville.