Holders Malien Out Of Confed Cup

By NBF News

Egypt's Harras al-Hodoud sank Simba of Tanzania 5-1 on Saturday to reach the Confederation Cup last-16 stage.

Holders Stade Malien were among seven clubs who fired blanks after their 0-0 in Mali with FUS Rabat of Morocco.

The result spelt the end of their reign after a shock success last year.

CS Sfaxien of Tunisia, military-backed Primeiro Agosto of Angola and AS FAN of Niger also advanced to the final qualifying round scheduled to start mid-July.

Hodoud were the exception on a day when goals were exceedingly scarce.

Ahmed Abdulghani was the Hodoud hat-trick hero in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria with Ahmed Mekki supplying the other two as Simba leaked goals at regular intervals.

Harras wasted no time wiping out a 2-1 first leg deficit from Dar es Salaam two weeks ago with Mekki and Abdulghani scoring inside 12 minutes of the kick-off.

Ugandan Emmanuel Okwi, who opened the scoring in east Africa, brought the teams level on aggregate by converting a penalty but Abdulghani was also successful from a spot kick on the stroke of half-time.

Hopes of a Simba revival were dashed by a second Mekki goal on the hour mark and Abdulghani completed the misery for a Tanzanian club rocked this week by a leadership crisis with his third 13 minutes from full-time.

Petrojet , the other Egyptian challengers for the US$660,000 prize money, bowed out after losing 1-0 in Tunisia against renowned African cup campaigners Sfaxien with Chadi Hammami snatching the 82nd-minute winner.

Sfaxien qualified 2-1 on aggregate having drawn in Suez and are among the likeliest sides to succeed Stade Malien, especially as Tunisia have supplied half the six Confederation Cup title holders.

Goalkeeper Lousseni Issa made several superb saves as AS FAN added Motema Pembe of the DR Congo to their list of victims with a goalless Kinshasa draw taking them through 1-0 on aggregate.

Primeiro must have hoped for better than 0-0 against Cameroon visitors Cotonsport Garoua in Luanda after building a 2-1 first leg lead away to the 2008 African Champions League runners-up.

CR Belouizdad of Algeria also reached the final qualifying round of the Confederation Cup after a 2-0 home triumph over Al-Amal of Sudan on Friday.

Soufiane Mebarki and Seddik Berraja scored the goals that saw the Algerians advance 2-1 on aggregate.

Belouizdad lost the first leg 1-0 in Atbara two weeks ago.

The team from the Algiers must wait until May 13 before knowing which Champions League third-round loser they face for a mini-league.

Belouizdad shook off modest domestic championship form to take a 13th-minute lead through Mebarki and Berraja struck the crucial second goal 14 minutes from full-time.

Reaching the last-16 stage marks a big improvement for Chabab, who competed in the first Confederation Cup six years ago and were eliminated after the opening qualifying round.