Sekhukhune join Sundowns and SuperSport in CAF Cup

By Michael Madyira

Sekhukhune United advanced to the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup following Sunday’s 1-1 draw with St Eloi Lupopo at the Stade des Martyrs de la Pentecote in Kinshasa.

After a 3-1 victory in the first-leg, Babina Noko made life easy for themselves by holding the DR Congo side away and registering a 4-2 aggregate win, joining Mamelodi Sundows and SuperSport United in the cup.

On Sunday, Lupopo tried to reduce arrears through Manu Bola’s 20th-minute penalty but the visitors restricted them from extending their lead.

Substitute Tiklas Thutlwa then dashed Lupopo’s comeback hopes when he hit back for Sekhukhune on the hour mark to secure a draw for them.

Babina Noko are making their debut in Africa and they wrote a piece of history by reaching the group phase at the first time of attempt.

The Premier Soccer League side was missing the services of key players like captain Daniel Cardoso, right-back Nyiko Mobbie and Jammie Webber and looked depleted.


Coach Brandon Truter preferred to start goalkeeper Renaldo Leaner instead of the more experienced Ivorian stopper Badra Ali Sangare and midfielder Komohelo Mokotjo was also benched.

But Babina Noko called on the experience of the likes of Sibusiso Vilakazi, Edwin Gymah, Chubuike Ohizu and Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya.

That gave them the edge to avoid losing in Kinshasa where most visiting teams struggle.

Even when the hosts were awarded a penalty, it did not sap Sekhukhune’s confidence and they continued to press for a goal.

They were eventually rewarded when Thutlwa rose from the bench and gave Lupopo goalkeeper Simon Loti Omossola no chance to level matters.

Babina Noko now wait to learn their group stage opponents in what is likely to become a sterner test for them on the continent.

Pictured above: Sekhukhune United’s attacker Sibusiso Vilakazi and St Eloi Lupopo’s Bola Lobota

Image source: Sekhukhune United

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