Ghanaian Antwi stars for Pyramids
Johannesburg, South Africa | AFP | Ghanaian John Antwi scored twice for Sebastien Desabre’s Egyptian outfit Pyramids as they lived up to a billing of being a club to watch in the CAF Confederation Cup this season.
The debutants thumped Etoile of Congo Brazzaville 4-1 in a preliminary round first leg to virtually seal a round-of-32 place ahead of the return match in central Africa.
Burkinabe Eric Traore and Egyptian Ahmed Ali also netted for the home side, who led by three goals at half-time, while Yan Mukumbu was the lone Congolese scorer.
Wealthy Saudi sports official Turki al Sheikh bought underperforming Al Assiouty Sport last year, changed the name of the club and went on a spending spree.
The impact was immediate as they finished third behind traditional African and Egyptian giants Al Ahly and Zamalek in the national league.
French coach Sebastien Desabre was hired after taking Uganda to the knockout phase of the Africa Cup of Nations this year for the first time in 41 years.
There was also more signings with former Ahly forward Antwi among those who joined to strengthen the squad for the first African campaign.
Assuming Pyramids eliminate Etoile, they are likely to face CR Belouizdad of Algeria, who built a 2-0 home lead over AS CotonTchad of Chad in Algiers.
Amir Sayoud starred for Belouizdad, creating the first goal for Ahmed Gasmi midway through the opening half and scoring the second eight minutes from time.
African newcomers Paradou AC, the other Algerian contenders in the second-tier Confederation of African Football competition, were even more impressive, hammering Guinean visitors CI Kamsar 3-0.
The most convincing first leg winners, though, were two other debutants, Esae of Benin and Triangle United of Zimbabwe, who each scored five unanswered goals.
Esae triumphed 5-0 away to ASC Snim of Mauritania in Nouakchott and Triangle exploited home advantage to thump Rukinzo of Burundi 5-0 in a southeastern Zimbabwe town.
Ulrich Dah Acheffon scored the first and fifth goals for Esae, who had completed their demolition job with a quarter of the match remaining.
Allan Takarwisa led the Triangle goal romp, bagging a first half brace to help his club to a 3-0 advantage by half-time.
US Ben Guerdane of Tunisia also scored five goals as they trounced Amarat United from South Sudan 5-1 with Brazilians Melo dos Santos and Ricardo Pereira bagging two goals each.
Return matches are scheduled for the weekend of August 23/25.