FORMER Gunners and FC Platinum striker Ali Sadiki remained the only Zimbabwean in the Caf Champions League when his side TP Mazembe of the DRC beat South African football giants Mamelodi Sundowns 3-2 on aggregate to progress to the second round.
Zimbabweans Abroad with Henry Mhara
While the Warriors man did not play in both matches-they lost 1-0 away in the first leg-he will be Zimbabwe’s torch bearer in the richest club competition on the continent.
TP now remains the only team from Southern Africa to reach the second round and will face Stade Malien of Mali away in the first leg, hoping, again, to use home advantage in the second leg to reach the mini-league phase.
After FC Platinum crashed out in the Caf Confederation Cup to Young Africans on Saturday and Kaizer Chiefs fell 3-0 on aggregate to Raja Casablanca, TP remained in contention, together with Orlando Pirates in the Confed Cup, to claim honours.
In the match against TP, Sundowns fielded the Absa Premiership leading scorer Cuthbert Malajila, but the former Chapungu, Highlanders and Dynamos hitman lasted 66 minutes before he was pulled out for Percy Tau. Tau scored Sundowns’ consolation goal in the 3-1 loss.
Khama Billiat played the entire match while there was no place for Kuda Mahachi.
In Casablanca on Sunday night, Willard Katsande and Mathew Rusike also bombed out of the Caf Champions League when they fell 2-0 to Raja, conceding two late goals via a brace from Ighodaro Christian Osaguona at the Stade Mohamed V.
Osaguona scored in the 86th and 93rd minute to seal victory. Katsande and Rusike both played the full match and will turn their focus on the Absa Premiership where they top the standings.
Chiefs have another tricky game on Thursday against bottom placed AmaZulu at Peter Mokaba Stadium.
In the Absa Premiership, Denver Mukamba scored a wonder corner kick in the 18th minute to give Tuks the lead before they added the second later on, but could not hold on to their lead, allowing Bloemfontein Celtic to claim a point in the 2-2 draw.
Former Dynamos goalkeeper Washington Arubi and defender Patson Jaure played the entire match for AmaTuks.
Milton Ncube did not feature for Ajax Cape Town as they lost 1-2 to Platinum Stars.
Caf Champions League second round fixtures
USM Alger (Algeria) vs AS Kaloum (Guinea)
SM Sanga Balende (DR Congo) vs Al-Hilal (Sudan)
Al-Merrikh (Sudan) vs Espérance (Tunisia)
MC El Eulma (Algeria) vs CS Sfaxien (Tunisia)
AC Léopards (Congo) vs Smouha (Egypt)
Moghreb Tétouan (Morocco) vs Al-Ahly (Egypt)
Raja Casablanca (Morocco) vs ES Sétif (Algeria)
Stade Malien (Mali) vs TP Mazembe (DR Congo)