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Yanga, Pyramids, Lupopo keep quarter-final hopes alive

Tanzania’s Young Africans (Yanga) and Egypt’s Pyramids kept their hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals of the TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup alive after winning their fourth-round group matches on Wednesday.

Yanga won 2-0 at home against Real de Bamako while Pyramids thrashed Togo’s AS Kara 4-1.

In Dar es Salaam, Fiston Mayele and Jesus Moloko scored in either half as Yanga moved to second in Group D with seven points, four ahead of third-placed TP Mazembe and will only need to avoid defeat against the Congolese side when they face off in Lubumbashi to advance to the quarters.

Playing in front of their home fans in the Tanzanian capital, Yanga needed just eight minutes to get into the lead when Mayele netted his ninth goal of the competition with a low finish after storming into the box.

Before the goal, they had some chances with Yannick Bangala and Aziz Ki having shots from range saved by the keeper.

They took the 1-0 lead to halftime, a satisfactory result after they had done well to manage the game.

Yanga had a chance to double their lead just 10 minutes after the restart from the penalty spot when Mayele was hacked down in the box, but Bangala sent his penalty high over the bar.

His blushes were however wiped in the 67th minute when substitute Moloko stormed through on goal after pick-pocketing Emile Kone of the ball in a dangerous area. He broke into the box and shot low past the keeper to cement the victory.

Bamako gave in a push in the final 20 minutes to try and grab a goal back, but Yanga defended with their hearts to earn their second win in the group.

AS Kara 1-4 Pyramids

Elsewhere at the Stade de Kegue in Lome, Mostafa Fathi scored twice in between Fakhreddine Ben Youssef and Islam Issa’s goals as Pyramids thrashed Kara 4-1 to move top of Group C with eight points, one ahead of second placed FAR Rabat who are yet to play their fourth match.

Ben Youssef broke the deadlock as early as the third minute when he volleyed home from inside the box after Pyramids won back the ball from 30 yards out.

Fathi scored the first of his two in the 27th minute when he swept the ball home from inside the box after a well weighted cross from Mohamed Hamdi. Nine minutes to the break, he made it 3-0 with his second of the evening when he reacted quickest to a saved effort by the keeper.

Abdou Ouatarra had a chance to draw his side one goal back three minutes to the break but he missed from the penalty spot, his tame effort easily collected by the keeper.

In the second half, Kara were fast off the blocks and had chances after chances, but they couldn’t convert with Pyramids keeper Ahmed Al Shenawy making fine saves.

For the missed chances, Issa made it 4-0 in the 64th minute when he curled the ball to the far post after some good team play from the Egyptians.

Amatchoutchoui Kangnivi grabbed one back for the hosts when he headed home from a corner two minutes later, but it wasn’t enough to conjure a comeback.

In Benghazi, Richmond Boakye scored a 91st inute equalizer for AL Akhdar as they played to a 1-1 draw with St. Eloi Lupopo to revive some faint hopes of a quarter final berth. They however remained bottom of Group A with two points, five behind second place.

Lupopo whose goal was scored in the first half by Horso Mwaku are on four points at third place.

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