CAF Confederation Cup: Motema Pembe, Raja Casablanca held in first legs

Raja Casablanca fans in Marrakech Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Zoumana Sidibe scored 10 minutes before half-time to hand minnows Deportivo Niefang of Equatorial Guinea a shock 1-1 draw away at Daring Club Motema Pembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the CAF Confederation Cup on Tuesday.

Motema Pembe are past winners of the old African Cup Winners' Cup, and as one of the continent's best supported outfits, would have been confident of progressing to the Play-off Round after being pitted against the Equatoguinean outfit.

DCMP opened the scoring through Tshibamba Samu but faded, with coach Otis Ngoma later blaming a bonus dispute on the eve of the game.

"I think there were some players who were mentally not in the match," he told journalists, as per Radio Okapi. "Yesterday they spent their time, instead of focusing, trying to solve the problem of money before the game.

"On field, these players were not focused because they slept with this problem of money," he complained.

There was a also an upset in rainy Morocco, where Raja Casablanca, one of the pre-tournament favourites, were held 1-1 at home by FC Nouadhibou of Mauritania.

Raja found it hard to get past Mauritania's national team goalkeeper Ibrahim Suleiman, who was in sparkling form, but eventually Mohamed Khaldane did so in the 70th minute.

However, Nouadhibou equalised through Ely Samba El Voulany, nicknamed Eto'o, after some sloppy defending and could now be in line for another upset after knocking out Africa Sports from Cote d'Ivoire in the previous round.

Club Africain, who were Champions Cup winners in 1991, suffered a 3-1 defeat at Renaissance Berkane of Morocco but got a potential lifeline when Tunisia international Saber Khalifa, the former Olympique Marseille forward, scored two minutes into stoppage time.

It means a 2-0 home win in the return in Tunis on March 17 will be good enough to ensure their progress.

Mohamed Aziz and Togo international Kodjo Fo Doh Laba had the Moroccans 2-0 up at half-time before Lahcen Akhmis made it 3-0 in Berkane.

In Pointe Noire, La Mancha showed the way with a 3-0 win over Al Ahli Shandi of Sudan while Chabab Belouizdad of Algeria inflicted the same one-sided margin on Nkana FC of Zambia, who collapsed in the second half of their game in Algiers.

The goals came from new signing Mohamed Benkablia, Mokhtar Amir Lamhene and Zakaria Draoui in the space of 25 minutes after the break.

South Africa's SuperSport United rested several key players and started several teenagers yet still had the better of the chances as they drew 0-0 away at Petro Atletico of Angola.

SuperSport United were runners-up last year but are in relegation trouble in South Africa's Premier Soccer League and so have made keeping their top-flight status their priority.