Botswana Club Galaxy Stun Pirates in CAF Champions League


Botswana club Jwaneng Galaxy snatched a stunning victory, while Egyptian sides Al Ahly and Pyramids went on goal sprees in CAF Champions League qualifying on Friday.

Galaxy defeated South African outfit and former African champions Orlando Pirates 5-4 on penalties after losing the second leg of a last-32 tie 1-0 in Soweto.

In Cairo, title-holders Al Ahly hammered Saint George of Ethiopia 4-0 and Mostafa Fathy scored four goals as Pyramids trounced APR of Rwanda 6-1 for convincing aggregate victories.

Defender Benson Mangolo was the match-winner for Galaxy, converting the fifth penalty for the visitors after teammate Goitseone Phoko had earlier saved from 18-year-old Relebohile Mofokeng.

Pirates gambled by bringing on Ghana goalkeeper Richard Ofori for Sipho Chaine in added time, believing he could swing the penalty shootout in their favour after a 1-1 aggregate draw.

But the move did not work as Galaxy converted all five kicks to clinch a place in the group phase from November 24 and pocket at least $700 000 (€660 000) in prize money.

After losing 1-0 in Botswana two weeks ago, Pirates dominated the return match with Galaxy defending in depth.

The Buccaneers recalled veteran forward Kermit Erasmus, but he made little impact against the red-shirted Galaxy defensive wall.

Pirates’ pressure finally told on 66 minutes when substitute Evidence Makgopa poked the ball into the net after a goalmouth scramble.

The home team almost snatched a second goal and overall victory in added time, but as Patrick Maswanganyi prepared to shoot from close range he was dispossessed by a superb sliding tackle.

Ahly, seeking a record-extending 12th Champions League title, followed up a 3-0 first-leg win over Saint George last weekend with an even wider winning margin second time round.

Mohamed ‘Afsha’ Magdy and Mahmoud Kahraba scored twice each for Ahly, who benefitted from Saint George not having an international-standard ground and having to play twice in Cairo.

Ahly booked a ninth straight appearance in the group stage, having reached six of the last eight Champions League finals, winning three.

Fathy became the first scorer to notch four goals in a match in the competition this season, bettering the hat-trick of Burundian Ali Shabani Valentin in the previous qualifying round.

Moroccans Walid el Karti and Mohamed Chibi also scored for Champions League debutants Pyramids and Nigerian Victor Mbaoma converted a late penalty for APR. The first leg ended 0-0 in Kigali.

Source: Sporting Life