This year’s TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup will have new champions after defending champions RS Berkane failed to make it into the group stages, following the conclusion of the additional second preliminary round on Wednesday.
Berkane who won the title last season after edging out Orlando Pirates on penalties were held to a 0-0 draw by Tunisian side US Monastir in the return fixture.
The Tunisians progressed 1-0 on aggregate, having won the first leg 1-0 at home.
Two other Tunisian sides did not make it through, with CS Sfaxien and Club Africain falling on the wayside.
Club Africain was beaten 1-0 at home by Tanzanian giants Yanga SC who made it to the group stages for the first time since 2018. Stephane Aziz Ki, signed at the start of the season from Asec Mimosas, scored the winner in the 79th minute.
Yanga progressed 1-0 on aggregate, having played to a 0-0 draw in the first leg.
Sfaxien meanwhile, failed to qualify for a second consecutive appearance in the group stages after losing 2-1 on aggregate to Togo’s AS Kara. The Togolese side held on to a 0-0 draw in the return leg in Sfax, the 2-1 win they picked at home last week proving to be the decisive result.
At the same time, the Congolese trio of giants TP Mazembe, DC Motema Pembe and St. Eloi Lupopo have also all booked slots in the group stages.
Mazembe, who dropped to the Confederation Cup from the Champions League have earned a group stage berth after edging out South Africa’s Royal AM 3-0 on aggregate, having won the return fixture 1-0 in South Africa.
This followed up a 2-0 victory in the first leg played at home in Lubumbashi. Adam Bossu scored the lone goal for Mazembe two minutes to halftime to hand them the victory.
St Eloi Lupopo meanwhile progressed after a 2-0 aggregate victory over Burkina Faso’s Real Club du Kadiogo, winning both home and away fixtures by a 1-0 margin.
Having started with victory away from home, Lupopo finished the job at home with Jean marc Makusu’s goal quarter an hour to the end proving to be the killer punch.
Motema Pembe meanwhile also earned a ticket with a 4-1 aggregate victory after winning the return leg 2-1 away from home, following it up from a 2-0 victory in the first leg. Waka Bofafaka and Platini Mpiana scored either side of a Flambeau penalty as DCMP won at the Stade de Martyrs in Kinshasa.
At the same time, Egypt will have two representatives in the group stages after Future FC made it to the group stages for the first time ever, following a 3-2 post-match penalties win over Primero de Agosto.
The second leg tie played in Cairo ended in a 1-1 draw, a similar result to the first leg played in Luanda meaning the sides had to be separated on penalties.
Omar Kamal was future’s hero in regulation time, scoring a 92nd-minute equalizer to cancel out Dago’s 44th-minute goal for the visitors. They ensured they extended the luck to the shoot-out to make a historic mark in their continental campaign.
Perennial competitors Pyramids also eased to the group phase after a 3-0 at home against Niger’s ASN Nigelec. Walid El Karti gave Pyramids a first-half lead before Abdalla Said and Fagrie Lakay sealed the victory in the second half.
They had turned over a 1-0 defeat from the first leg to win big at home and progress.
Another side to have overturned a first leg deficit was Libyan side Al Akhdar who edged out Nigerian side Plateau United 3-0 at home to go through on the away goal rule after a 4-4 aggregate result.
They had lost the first leg tie 4-1 in Nigeria, but the single goal they scored on enemy territory sailed them through.
Their fellow Libyans Al Nasr could however not perform the same miracle as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Rivers United, who progressed 6-1 on aggregate having won the first leg at home 5-0.
Asec Mimosas (Cote d’Ivoire), Diables Noirs (Congo Brazzaville), Real Bamako (Mali), AS Far (Morocco) and Marumo Gallants (South Africa) are the other sides to complete the group phase roster.
Marumo Gallants (South Africa) 0-1, 3-0 Al Ahli Tripoli (Libye)
CS Sfaxien (Tunisia) 1-2, 0-0 ASKO (Togo)
St Eloi Lupopo (RD Congo) 0-0, 1-0 RC Kadiogo (Burkina faso)
Diables Noirs (Congo) 2-0, 4-2 La Passe (Seychelles)
Al Akhdar (Libya) 1-4, 3-0 Plateau United (Nigeria)
Club Africain (Tunisia) 0-0, 0-1 Yanga (Tanzania)
Future (Egypte) 1-1, 2-1 Primeiro Agosto (Angola)
Real Bamako (Mali) 1-1, 3-1 Royal Leopards (Eswatini)
SC Gagnoa (Côte d’Ivoire) 0-2, 2-3 ASEC (Côte d’Ivoire)
Pyramids (Egypt) 0-1, 3-0 AS Nigelec (Niger)
Royal AM (South Africa) 0-2, 0-1 TP Mazembe (DR Congo)
USM Alger (Algeria) 0-0, 1-0 Cape Town City (South Africa)
Motema Pembe (DR Congo) 1-0, 2-1 Flambeau du Centre (Burundi)
Al Nasr (Libya) 0-5, 1-1 Rivers United (Nigeria)
RS Berkane (Morocco) 0-1, 0-0 US Monastir (Tunisia)
FAR Rabat (Morocco) 0-0, 4-0 Djoliba (Mali)