Monday, September 22, 2008

New African Soccer and the Champions League Semis

I know, I know. I promised 31 straight days of posts and what happened?

Anyways, I'm here.
As you know, I also write for New African Soccer magazine.

What is that? According to the site:

New African Soccer Magazine is the only monthly English language magazine and ezine dedicated to African football.

We provide all the news and views, twists and turns of the beautiful game from an African perspective. As the football world turns towards the 2010 World Cup in South Africa we want to show how much Africa has to offer, from the Premiership superstars in England and the biggest leagues in Europe to the vital grassroots of the African leagues.

We have experienced correspondents throughout the world and we deliver exclusive interviews, contributions from star players, intelligent discussion and all the latest news and views from club and international football in Africa.

Good stuff, I promise.

I wrote a piece about the African Champions League semifinals for the site's blog, which I will post here as well.

Please make sure to check out the magazine. It is chock full of information and better yet, it's free! And I write for it!!

Here's the article ... I'll be back with more tomorrow.

Zimbabwe's Dynamos Harare are the surprise package in the semifinals of the African Champions League, continuing their Cinderella run to the title with a 1-0 victory over Zamalek of Egypt on Sunday.

Substitute David Shoko scored in the 88th minute to give Dynamos the victory in Harare and set up a semi-final clash against Coton Sport of Cameroon next month.

The win lifted the Zimbabwean side to nine points from six matches, three more than Asec Mimosas of Ivory Coast, who finished third after a 2-2 draw with Group A winners Al Ahly.

The last 8 teams in the Champions League are split into two groups of 4. The winner and runner-up of these groups advance to the semis.

Dynamos' match was briefly under threat, as their players walked out of camp on Saturday ahead of Sunday's game against Zamalek because of a bonus row.

The players were demanding 3 million Zimbabwean dollars each but due to a daily cash withdrawal limit of 1,000 dollars per person in the inflation-racked country, club officials could not pay the players on time.

Eventually all was settled and Dynamos dominated the match, with Zamalek goalkeeper Abdelwahad al-Sayed making a string of fine saves.

Al Ahly made sure of their qualification a few weeks back when they defeated Dynamos in Harare, creating an unassailable point gap between themselves and the other group members.

Nigerian club Enyimba FC of Aba narrowly advanced as they suffered an embarrassing 3-0 destruction from neighboring Cameroonian side Coton Sports on Saturday.

The result should have put the former two time champions out of contention, but TP Mazembe failed to defeat Sudanese club side Al Hilal in Khartoum. Both sides played out a 2-2 draw ensuring that they both crashed out of the competition.

Coton Sports will face Dynamos Harare in the first semi-final pairing, while tournament favorites Al Ahly will face Enyimba FC in the second semi-final encounter.

The latter is undoubtedly the clash that will garner the most interest, as both teams hold the most wins in the competition now.

The first leg of the semi-finals come up October 3-5, while the second leg comes up a fortnight later.

The winners advance to a two-leg final with the victors collecting US$1m and an invitation to the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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