Fairytales and comebacks on the road to semis

With two sides on the brink of last four places after convincing away victories, there will be more to watch on Sunday when the second leg matches of the Total CAF Confederation Cup 2019/20 quarterfinals take place across the continent.

Moroccan side Hassania Agadir and Egyptian side Pyramids have an obvious advantage when they entertain Libya’s Al Nasr and Zambia’s Zanaco respectively, having won away from home by wide margins. Meanwhile, last season’s losing finalists RS Berkane will host Al Masry having held them to an away draw; the same scenario for Guinea’s Horoya against Nigerian visitors Enyimba.

The aggregate winners will progress to reach the semifinals, with hopes of a maiden CAF Confederation Cup title the biggest inspiration for the octet.

Pyramids (Egypt) – Zanaco (Zambia) (3-0)

(Sunday 08.03.2020 – 13:00 GMT, Cairo)

The debutants’ fairytale seems to have another chapter looming, as Pyramids returned from Lusaka with a three goal lead over Zanaco to put a leg into the last four in their first ever CAF appearance. Veteran Abdullah Elsaid put the cherry on top of the cake in Zambia, after Ali Gabr and Mohamed Farouk scored in the opening half, as Pyramids cruised to yet another away victory, their seventh in a row in this campaign.

Despite the fact that they are having their debut continental participation, Pyramids have set themselves as title favorites. Zanaco are facing an uphill to climb at the Cairo based 30 June Stadium where they need to score at least three unanswered goals to force the game into a shootout. They have to do so against a team that just conceded three times in six CAF home games this season.

Horoya (Guinea) – Enyimba (Nigeria) (1-1)

(Sunday 08.03.2020 – 16:00 GMT, Conakry)

Boniface Haba came from the bench to score 20 minutes from time and cancel Augustine Oladapo’s opener for Enyimba, as Horoya came back from Aba with a precious away 1-1 draw. Two times African champions Enyimba now have to score in Conakry if they are to reach the CAF Confederation Cup semifinal for the second time, after 2018 when they lost to eventual champions Raja of Morocco.

Horoya look favorites to finish the job at their home, Stade du 28 Septembre, where they have won all their 6 CAF matches this season. After reaching the quarterfinals of the premier CAF Champions League in the last two seasons, “H.A.C” are targeting a further step in the second tier continental competition this season.

Hassania Agadir (Morocco) – Al Nasr (Libya) (5-0)

(Sunday 08.03.2020 – 16:00 GMT, Agadir)

Mission looks done and dusted for Hassania Agadir who returned from Egyptian capital Cairo with a five goal lead over hosts Al Nasr. Karim El Berkaoui’s hat-trick coupled with Malick Cisse’s brace gave “HUSA” a commanding away lead that they look poised to defend at home and grab their semifinal ticket.

Al Nasr who are forced to play away from their Benghazi base due to security concerns in Libya reached the quarterfinals for the first time in their history, and were hoping of a further step. But they had to wake up against a resolute Hassania side, that are looking for their first ever continental glory after being eliminated from last season’s quarterfinals against eventual champions Zamalek of Egypt.

RS Berkane (Morocco) – Al Masry (Egypt) (2-2)

(Sunday 08.03.2020 – 19:00 GMT, Berkane)

After last season’s heartbreaking final defeat on penalties, RS Berkane are aiming for another shot on the second tier continental club competition yet again. They are one step away from the semifinals, after returning from Egypt with a 2-2 away draw against Al Masry.

Veteran Mohssine Iajour scored a brace before and after Muftah Taktak and an own goal from his goalkeeper Zouheir Laaroubi, as the Suez duel between both sides ended in a 2-2 draw; a result that may favor “The Oranges” to settle things at Stade Municipal de Berkane. Al Masry need to score and avoid conceding away if they are to repeat their 2018 feat when they reached the semis before bowing to DR Congo’s AS Vita then.

Source: Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF)

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