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Alimi stars as Lobi grab CAF Champions League group spot

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Sikiru Alimi The Hero As Lobi Mark Return To Group Stage of The CCL After 18 Year Absence. Photo/thebusybuddies

Sikiru Alimi was the two-goal star as Lobi Stars of Nigeria squeezed into the CAF Champions League group phase at the expense of Kenyan outfit Gor Mahia in Enugu on Saturday.

Alimi scored after 79 and 88 minutes to earn Stars a dramatic 2-0 round-of-30 second-leg win and overall victory on away goals after a 3-3 aggregate tie.

Lobi reached the group phase in their only previous Champions League appearance in 2000 while Gor were hoping to become the first qualifiers from Kenya.

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The five former champions in action secured places in the December 28 draw when the 16 survivors, including trophy-holders Esperance of Tunisia, will be split into four groups.

Wydad Casablanca of Morocco needed away goals to survive after losing 3-1 at Senegalese club ASC Diaraf, who lost the first leg 2-0 in Casablanca.

After the Moroccans fell two goals behind in Dakar, Mohamed Ounnajem converted a Wydad penalty before Diaraf scored again a minute from time to create a tense finish.

Orlando Pirates of South Africa, who had the toughest task after only drawing 0-0 at home to African Stars of Namibia last weekend, won the return match 1-0 on an artificial pitch.

Zambian Justin Shonga atoned for squandering several first-leg chances by scoring the crucial goal after 55 minutes in Windhoek.

Mamelodi Sundowns, the other South African contenders, outclassed Al Ahly Benghazi of Libya 4-0 in Pretoria after a goalless first encounter.

Uruguayan Gaston Sirino, Liberian Anthony Laffor and Venezuelan Jose Meza scored for Sundowns and Walid Omar deflected a shot from New Zealander Jeremy Brockie into his net.

Five-time champions TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo equalised through veteran Tresor Mputu to draw 1-1 at Zesco United of Zambia and progress 2-1 on aggregate.

Ismaily of Egypt lost 2-1 away to Cameroonian side Coton Sport, but advanced 3-2 overall as they seek to become African champions 49 years after achieving the feat for the only time.

There will be seven more second legs Sunday with record eight-time champions Al Ahly of Egypt defending a 2-0 lead over Ethiopians Jimma Aba Jifar in Addis Ababa.


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