The biggest benefactor was Rwandan side, Police, which had as many as five players from the Amavubi Stars that exited the tournament designed exclusively for footballers playing in the domestic leagues at the knockout stage, in action as they beat Atlabara of South Sudan 3-1 in Kigali.
The quintet of Ronald Chitiyo, William Manondo, Francisco Zekumbawira, Ronald Chitiyo and Raphael Manuvire were influential as Zimbabwean side Harare City scrapped a narrow 3-2 win over visiting AS Adema of Madagascar at the Rufaro Stadium in Harare. Chitiyo shot the homers up on 38 minutes and Manuvire doubled the lead two minutes later. The Islanders leveled through Nomenjanahary Rajaoniasy and Voavy Kassah before Manuvire settled the tie two minutes from time.
DR Congo Defender Junior Baometu, who partnered captain Joel Kimwaki in the absence of the suspended Padou Bompunga in the final against Mali, was ever-present for St. Eloi Lupopo who beat visiting Bandari of Kenya 2-0 in Lubumbashi. Mugalu Mutshimba and Makambo Maolongi scored in either half for the hosts.
Tunisia forward Hichem Essifi, who put the icing on the cake in the 5-0 drubbing of Niger at the group phase, helped Stade Gabesien to snatch a vital 1-1 draw away in Bamako against Bakary-Djan of Mali. The visitors led at the interval through Aliou Cisse before Mohgamed Maiga drew level on 58 minutes.
Ivorian goalkeeper Abdoul Karim Cisse who made the headlines by stopping two penalties in the third-place against Guinea kept a clean sheet as SC Gagnoa beat USFAS of Burkina Faso 2-0 in Abidjan. First half goals from Malan Kassi and Tiecoura Coulibaly were enough for the Ivorians.
Another member of the Elephants’ bronze winning team, Soualio Ouattara helped African Sport to a shocking 2-1 win away over Congolese giants, Diables Noirs at the Massamba Debat Stadium in Brazzaville. A brace from Gnagbo Dogba gave the Ivorians a two-goal lead before former Sochaux forward Franchel Ibara pulled one back for the homers on 69 minutes.
Uganda duo, Isaac Muleme and Kirya Ambrose inspired SC Villa to a crucial lone goal victory over El Khartoum Watani of Sudan in Khartoum. A 19th minute strike by Taddeo Lwanga was all the visitors needed to claim victory.
Libyan giants, Al Ittihad cooked the biggest win thumping Sonidep of Niger 4-1 in the Tunisian city of Sfax. Osama Ghit, Mansur El Burki, Motasem Sabbou and Mohamed Mahfud were on target for Ittihad and Ismael Ali for the Nigeriens.
Elsewhere in Addis Ababa, Egyptian debutants Misr Makkasa shocked their Ethiopian hosts, Defence with a 3-1 win. The visitors led 3-0 courtesy goals from Hussein Ragab, Amr Barakat and Elsayed Hamdy before Mohamed Naser grabbed a consolation on the stroke of full time.
Ten-man Akwa United of Nigeria returned to their base with smiles after silencing V.Club Mokanda of Congo 1-0 in Pointe-Noire. The West Africans who ended the game without Samuel Okon grabbed the winner through Ubong Moses on 35 minutes.
Nigeria’s other participant; Nasarawa United left it late against Senegalese side Generation Foot in Abuja thanks to Sogbeso Seun’s winner three minutes from time. Tayo Fabiyi put the homers in the lead after six minutes before Ibrahima Niane restored parity three minutes after the break.
Ousmane Hamit’s 14th minute strike gave Renaissance of Chad a first leg cushioning against New Stars Douala of Cameroon in N’djamena whilst Luiz Jefferson Escher, Salah Aqqal and Walid Sabbar found target to help Kawkab Marrakech to a 3-0 win over USFA of Burkina Faso in Marrakech.
The second leg matches will take place in a fortnight with the winners advancing to the 1/16th round.
Friday, 12 February 2016
Bakaridjan (Mali) 1-1 Stade Gabesien (Tunisia)
Al Ittihad (Libya) 4-1 AS Sonidep (Niger)
Saturday, 13 February 2016
Police (Rwanda) 3-1 Atlabara (South Sudan)
Lighstars FC (Seychelles) 0-3 Bidvest Wits (South Africa)
Defence (Ethiopia) 1-3 Misr Makassa (Egypt)
Harare City (Zimbabwe) 3-2 AS Adema (Madagascar)
Fomboni Moheli (Comoros) 1-0 Athletico Olympic (Burundi)
Watani Khartoum (Sudan) 0-1 SC Villa (Uganda)
Sagrada Esperança (Angola) 1-2 Ajax Cape Town
V.Club Mokanda (Congo) 0-1 Akwa United (Nigeria)
SC Gagnoa (Cote d’Ivoire) 2-0 USFAS (Mali)
Renaissance (Chad) 1-0 New Stars Douala (Cameroon)
Sunday, 14 February 2016
Kawkab Marrakech (Morocco) 3-0 USFA (Burkina Faso)
Nasarawa United (Nigeria) 2-1 Generation Foot (Senegal)
St Eloi Lupopo (DR Congo) 2-0 Bandari (Kenya)
UMS Loum (Cameroon) 0-0 Deportivo Mongomo (Equatorial Guinea)
Diables Noirs (Congo) 1-2 Africa Sports (Cote d’Ivoire)
Jeshi Kujenga Uchumi (Zanzibar) vs *Gaborone United (Botswana)
*Wallidan (Gambia) vs MC Oran (Algeria)