Al-Ahram Weekly Online   23 February - 1 March 2006
Issue No. 783
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

First time

Egypt featured debutante clubs in the Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup. Abeer Anwar sees what they did

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Enppi and St George jumped up and down but couldn't score

Enppi, began their first round, first leg of the African Champions League with a goalless draw against Ethiopia's St George at Al-Akhdar stadium in Cairo. Although Enppi, runners-up of the Egyptian league last season, employed Amr Zaki, hero of the African Cup of Nations semi-final against Senegal and leading scorer of the Egyptian league with eight goals, the team could not find the winning goal, making their job that much more difficult in the away second leg.

Enppi was taking part in the continental competition for the first time. St George are one match away from the Ethiopian title.

Defending champions Ahli will join in the 16th round of this, the 10th edition of the MTN Champions League after receiving a bye in the first round.

Meanwhile, in the first leg match of the CAF Confederation Cup, Egypt's Haras Al-Hedoud lost to Libya's Al-Akhdar 1-0 in Libya. Senegal's Kamara Sansar scored for Al-Akhdar in the 12th minute. After the early goal, Al-Akhdar players resorted to defence when it would have been logical to go for the kill.

Despite the loss, Haras, appearing in the event for the first time, seem capable of offsetting the one-goal lead when the second leg is played in the team's stronghold of Alexandria.

This is the third edition of the CAF Confederation Cup.

In other news, CAF on-line announced that Mauritania have withdrawn their two clubs from the continental club competitions on the eve of the weekend's first round, first leg matches.

ASC Ahmedi were withdrawn from the Champions League ahead of their home tie against Morocco's Raja Casablanca on Sunday.

ASC Entente also pulled out of Sunday's match against ASO Chlef of Algeria in the Confederation Cup.

Mauritania now face a mandatory two-year ban from continental club competition plus fines.

No reasons were offered but withdrawals from club competition are usually because of financial constraints.

The withdrawal of the two Mauritanian clubs means Raja Casablanca progress into the second round of the Champions League while ASO Chlef have a walkover into the second round of the Confederation Cup.

The first round, second leg matches are scheduled for the weekend of 3-5 March.

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