By Nancy Pendo,
CAF Confederation Cup defending champions Raja Casablanca were held 1-1 by Namibian champions African Stars in the first leg of the playoff rounds in Windhoek on Saturday.
Alfeus Mbwale Handura was on target for the hosts while Raja had to thank Soufiane Rahimi for the 51st minute away goal that could prove crucial when they host the Namibians next week.
Fighting for a place in the group stages, the Namibians were resilient against Raja and could still fancy their chances in the second leg.
Elsewhere, Nkana were at their best as they beat San Pedro of Ivory Coast 3-0 at Nkana Stadium in Kitwe.
Ronald Kampamba opened the scoring for Nkana, turning in a pass from 41-year-old Joseph Musonda two minutes before the break.
Veteran Musonda was also to register his name on the scoresheet six minutes into the second half, before Festus Mbewe killed the game with Nkana’s third goal four minutes from time.
Nkana, who were demoted from the Caf Champions League, will now travel to Ivory Coast carrying what appears to be a healthy lead and confident of reaching the Confederation Cup group stages.
In Bamako, Angolan giants Petro Atletico forced a 1-1 draw with Stade Malien at the Stade du 26 Mars.
Aboubakar Sylla opened the scoring for Stade Malien in the 23rd minute, before Edson Antonio Felix Va hit back for Petro Atletico on 31 minutes.
With the goals coming in the first half, the second period was a drab affair with both teams failing to find the back of the net.
Meanwhile, wasteful Ugandan side Vipers held CS Sfaxien 0-0 at St Mary’s Stadium in Kitende.
It was a goalless draw that will see the second leg in Tunisia back to square one but Vipers could be praying for a scoring draw that will take them into the group stages on away goal rule.
Sfaxien goalkeeper Mohamed Hedi Gaaloul was also credited for keeping the Vipers attackers at bay although the Ugandans were also guilty of fluffing numerous good scoring chances.