Newbie Remo Stars snatch a draw

African debutants Remo Stars of Nigeria managed a shock 1-1 draw in the preliminary round against former Confederation Cup winners CAF FAR Rabat in Morocco on Sunday.

Cape Verdean international Diney Borges gave the lead to the 2005 winners of Africa’s second division club competition.

But Olamilekan Adebayo equalized early in the second half for Remo, who qualified for the African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League by finishing third in Nigeria last season.

FAR besieged the Stars’ goal mouth as the second half wore on, looking to regain the lead, but the visitors held on for an unexpected draw.

The teams meet again next weekend with the aggregate winners taking on Guinea’s Anglogold Ashanti Golden Boys or Mauritania’s Nouakchott Kings in the Round of 16 in October.

The FAR are among the six winners of African competitions competing this season in the qualifying phase of the Confederation Cup.

The others – defending champions Renaissance Berkane of Morocco, Tunisian sides Club Africain and CS Sfaxien, Hearts of Oak of Ghana and DC Motema Pembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo – were bye for the Round of 16.

Berkane was impressive 2-0 against Wydad Casablanca in an all-Moroccan CAF Super Cup game in Rabat on Saturday and is aiming for a third Confederation Cup title in four seasons.

Kwara United capped off a good day for the Nigerian challengers with a 3-0 win over AS Douanes du Niger in Lagos.

United were quickly taken out of the blocks with Paul Samson scoring in the fifth minute and Wasiu Jimoh bagging a brace before half-time including a penalty.

Royal AM, another team making their African debut after a third-place finish in South Africa, drew 0-0 with Eswatini’s Mbabane Highlanders in Lobamba.

After a mixed start to the season with four league and cup wins and four losses, it was a satisfying result for Royal, the Durban club funded by TV personality and businesswoman Shauwn Mkhize.

The other South African contenders, Marumo Gallants, received a bye into the second qualifying round.


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