JS Kabylie of Algeria hope Mohamed Boulaouidet can perform another CAF Confederation Cup salvage operation when they face TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo this weekend.
The Algerians are trailing the Congolese 2-0 after the first leg last weekend of a play-off with a place in the lucrative group phase up for grabs.
Striker Boulaouidet has rescued the “Canaries” in two tense qualifying victories that earned his team a showdown with title-holders Mazembe.
He bagged a brace in a 4-0 preliminary-round rout of Liberians Monrovia Club Breweries that overturned a shock three-goal first-leg hammering in west Africa.
And with a last-32 clash against Etoile of Congo Brazzaville seemingly destined for a penalty shootout, Boulaouidet snatched the only goal of the tie 60 seconds from time.
For the second successive season, Mazembe failed to qualify for the CAF Champions League group stage and were demoted to the African version of the Europa League.
The Congolese boast a multi-national squad and Zambia midfielder Nathan Sinkala and Mali centre-back Salif Coulibaly scored against Kabylie in Lubumbashi.
When the clubs met in a 2010 Champions League semi-final, Mazembe also built a two-goal advantage at home, then forced a goalless draw in Algerian city Tizi Ouzou.
Kampala Capital City Authority take a 1-0 lead over Al Masry to Egypt as they strive to become the first Ugandan club to reach the group stage of a CAF competition.
Teenager Derrick Nsibambi scored deep in stoppage time to raise hopes of a historic triumph and at least $275,000 (260,000 euros) in prize money.
“We can match Masry in Egypt,” was the defiant message from Kampala captain and full-back Denis Okot.
But Masry coach and former Egypt star Hossam Hassan predicted a different outcome to the return match.
“My boys will fight back and qualify for the group stage. We were unlucky not the score in Kampala and the artificial pitch did not suit us.”
Another east African club taking a 1-0 lead to the north of the continent are Young Africans of Tanzania, who edged Mouloudia Alger of Algeria in Dar es Salaam.
Seeking a second successive appearance in the group stage, “Yanga” owe their slender advantage to a goal from Zimbabwean Thabani Kamusoko.
Fellow midfielder Simon Msuva believes a cautious approach will serve the Tanzanian outfit best in Algiers.
“We will qualify by holding on to our lead. It is not going to be easy in Algeria and we should play cautiously.”
Zesco United of Zambia, surprise 2016 Champions League semi-finalists, host Enugu Rangers of Nigeria in a powerful position having forced a 2-2 away draw.
“Our greater African experience was decisive,” said Kenyan defender David Owino after Zesco wiped out a two-goal deficit in Nigeria.
There are three South African contenders, but only SuperSport United are likely to advance having drawn 1-1 with Barrack Young Controllers in Liberia.
Wits make the long journey to Egypt after a goalless first leg against Smouha while Platinum Stars trail 2-0 against visiting AS Tanda from the Ivory Coast.
Source: Confederation Africaine de Football