The first round matches of the preliminaries of the two African club cups, namely the Champions League and the Confederation Cup, were played last weekend. The two Malian representatives, Stade Malien, in the Champions League, Binga FC, in the Confederation Cup, have all won.
Traveling to Cameroon, the champion of Mali, Stade Malien, dominated AS Sonabel of Burkina Faso (1-0). Striker Abdramane Traoré scored the only goal of the game in the 22nd minute of play. The Burkina Faso champion received this first leg in Cameroon for a simple reason: his country does not have an approved stadium.
Stade Malien thus takes a good option on qualifying for the second round, before the return match scheduled for Friday at the Modibo Keïta stadium and during which the Whites can be satisfied with a draw. But at home, the men of French technician Jean-Christophe Gratecap will be keen to qualify with the same to send a strong signal to their opponent in the second round, Horoya from Guinea. On the other hand, it will take a miracle for ES Setif of Algeria, swept 3-0 in Gambia by Fortune FC. The Algerians will have paid a high price for their current transfer window and their preparation carried out in haste due to the tight schedule. On the other hand, ASEC Mimosas, winner 1-0 on the ground of Senegalese Teungueth FC, yet present in the group stage last season, took an option on qualifying in the second round. Note also the good draw brought back from Gabon by the Congolese of AS Maniema Union against Bouenguidi Sports (1-1).
Remember that 10 clubs are exempt from the preliminary round: Al Ahly (Egypt), Zamalek (Egypt), Esperance Tunis (Tunisia), Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia), Wydad Casablanca (Morocco), Raja Casablanca (Morocco), Horoya (Guinea) , TP Mazembe (DRC), Simba (Tanzania), Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa).
For its first participation in the Confederation Cup, Binga FC created a sensation on Saturday 11 September at the Modibo Keïta stadium. Ousmane Guindo’s team dominated Monrovia Club Breweries 3-0, with goals from Siaka Diaby (15th min) and midfielders Kassoum Coulibaly (51st min) and Youssouf Coulibaly (82nd min, sp).
Despite this large victory, Binga FC must be wary of their opponent, in the second leg scheduled for Sunday, September 19, in Monrovia.