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CAF Confederation Cup

Malian striker stops Nigeria’s Rivers flow in Confederation Cup

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Days after Mali inflicted a 2-0 defeat on Nigeria’s Super Eagles in Morocco, another Malian has scored another two goal licking on Nigeria’s continental flag bearer, Rivers United as they fell 2-0 to Algeria’s USM Alger.

Malian striker, Abdullah Kanou, scored both goals for USM Alger that secured the valuable victory that for his team, allowing them to reach the semi-finals for the second consecutive time on a 2-1 goal aggregate.
USM Alger rectified their defeat in the first leg in Nigeria with a 1-0 loss and  advanced to the last four and keep alive their hopes of retaining the title.


USM Alger started the match strongly, aiming to open the scoring, but they were unable to do so until the 37th minute when Kanou opened the scoring from close range.
The second half saw a significant increase in USM Alger’s attacking movements, hoping to extend their lead, but the play became more centralized in the midfield.


Rivers United came close to equalizing, but Andy Ogbai’s header hit the crossbar of the Algerian goalkeeper, Osama Ben Boute, in the 72nd minute.


Kanou struck again in the 74th minute, securing the second goal that guaranteed the defending champions’ qualification to the semi-finals.

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USM Alger will face Moroccan club Berkane in the semi-finals later on this month.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

CAF Confederation Cup

Shehu Dikko, Okey Obi get important roles at Confederation Cup final match

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The duo of Shehu Dikko and Okey Sylvanus Sylvanus Obi, both Nigerians have been appointed as Match Commissioner and Security Officer in Sunday’s final match of the CAF Confederation Cup in Cairo.

Dikko, the former chieftain of the governing body of the Nigeria Premier League is already in Cairo for the final match which pitches Zamalek SC against visiting Morocco’s RS Berkane.

Also already is Okey Obi is in Cairo. He is also the chief legal officer at the Nigeria Football Federation.  

The referee of the match is Issa SY. He handled the quarter-final match of Nigeria and  Angola in the Africa Cup of Nations last February. He will be assisted by compatriots, Djibril Camara and Nouha Bangoura. The fourth official is  Omar Abdulkadir Artan of Somalia.

  The Referee Assessor is Victor Miguel de Freitas Gomes of South Africa while  Joshua Robert Knipp, also of South Africa, is the General Coordinator for the match.

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The Video Assistant Referee is Pierre Ghislain Atcho of Gabon. Aliou Goloko of Senegal the initially designated Media Officer who was reportedly unavailable, has been replaced by Egypt’s Mohamed Elsesy.

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CAF Champions League

BREAKING: CAF adopts Yoruba name, “Ola” for official match ball!

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Confederation of African Football, CAF, has adopted a Nigerian language name of its official match ball for the interclubs competitions. Ahead of this weekend’s blockbuster line-up that sees Africa’s top clubs battle for  CAF Confederation Cup and CAF Champions League top honours, the confederation and its matchball producers, PUMA have unveiled a new match ball called “OLA.”

 In a press statement, CAF explains that “OLA,” means “wealth,” “honour,” and “respect” in Yoruba, and “rise” and “success” in Arabic. It explained that the name was chosen to symbolize the dynamic and energetic nature of African football.

Embodying the spirit of Africa, Ola’s design is inspired by the continent’s vibrant colours, art, and traditions.

OLA will be used this weekend – starting in Tunis when Espérance Sportive de Tunis hosts Al Ahly of Egypt in the first leg of the  CAF Champions League Final and on Sunday when Zamalek hosts RS Berkane in the second leg of the  CAF Confederation Cup final at the Cairo International Stadium. 

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CAF Confederation Cup

Final, second-leg: Zamalek v RS Berkane: Facts & Figures

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Zamalek will host Moroccan side RS Berkane in the second-leg of the final of  CAF Confederation Cup in Cairo on Sunday.

The stakes are high as both teams vie for the title, with the Egyptian seeking to capitalize on their home advantage to overturn the 2-1 first leg deficit against RS Berkane.

RS Berkane will be eager to secure the result that would hand them the title ahead of Zamalek even though the Egyptian giants aim to assert themselves.

CAFOnline.com takes a look at some interesting facts and figures ahead of the second-leg clash:

Zamalek could become the first side to win the CAF Confederation Cup despite losing the first leg of the final since themselves in 2019 against RS Berkane (0-1, 1-0 then 5-3 after the penalty shootout).

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With their win over Zamalek in the first leg, RS Berkane are now the last unbeaten side in the CAF Confederation Cup this season (W8 D3, including two awarded wins in the semi-finals).


Zamalek have never lost a home game in the CAF Confederation Cup (W11 D4), but they drew the most recent two (1-1 v Modern Future and 0-0 v Dreams in the knockout phase this season).


RS Berkane scored their fifth and sixth goals following a set piece in the CAF Confederation Cup this season during the first leg, equalling Zamalek as the side with the most goals from dead ball situations.


Zamalek have the highest possession rate on average in the 2023-24 CAF Confederation Cup (63%), that’s at least six percentage points more than any other side.


Adil Tahif (RS Berkane) and Seifeddine Jaziri (Zamalek) have both scored their second headed goal in the 2023-24 CAF Confederation Cup during the first leg of the final, only Paul Valère Bassène (RS Berkane) has done as well.

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Zizo (Zamalek) provided his fifth assist in the 2023-24 CAF Confederation Cup, no player has given more assists over a single edition since Opta began detailed data collection (2016-17).


Nabil Emad (Zamalek) has completed 409 passes in the CAF Confederation Cup in 2024, at least 114 more than any other player. 74 of those were in the first leg of the final while no other player completed at least 50 passes in that game.

-CAF

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