By NAKAMPE LEKWADU
BLACK Leopards’ fairy-tale on CAF Confederations Cup continued with a convincing away 2-2 draw away to St Eloi Lupopo yesterday I the second leg of the competition played at the Stade de la Victoire at in Lubumbashi, DR Congo.
The draw saw Lidoda Duvha booked their place in the last 16 of the competition with a 6-4 victory on aggregate after winning the first leg at home in Giyani 4-2.
Playing in this match minus head coach, Heric Vladislav, Leopards who are also fighting for their survival in the domestic league showed their determination to carry over where they left in the first round of this match, taking the lead as early as the 16th minute through David Zulu. Those with good memories will remember that it was the same Zulu who came from the bench to score the only goal as Leopards stunned Kaizer Chiefs with a 1-0 victory in a league match last Tuesday.
Lupopo however scored two quick goals in the second half (in the 53rd and 64th minutes) via Carrington Gomba and Mpiana motiti respectively, however the SA side had the last laugh when they saw an equalizer in referee’s optional time via substitute, Kingston Nkatha.
Leopards who welcome log leaders, Mamelodi Sundowns on Wednesday night at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane will now face Nigeria’s Warri Wolves in the last 16 of the competition.
Unlike Lupopo who boast of a number of appearances on the continental competitions, Wolves who were established in 1967 by Bernard Baro Bakpa have only appeared two times in this competition. Their first appearance was in 2002 where they were kicked out of the CAF Cup in the first round while the club was still called Nigeria Port Authority FC from Warri Delta State before their dream to go further in the CAF Confederations Cup in 2010 were shattered when they were dejected out of the competition in the last 16 stage.
Prior to 2003, the club campaigned in the league as Nigeria Port Authority FC based in Warri Delta State. The club relocated to Lagos in 2003 after they earned promotion to the Nigerian Premier League but only to relocate back to Warri after their relegation during the 2005/06 season which forced them to move back to Warri in 2007 where they signed signed a deal with government of Delta State and the club was renamed Warri Wolves in the same year.
In 2009 the club clawed back to the Premier League after winning the Division 1B with 59 points from 18 wins, five draws and seven loses. The club had scored 42 goals as opposed to the 16 goals conceded.
According to the updated log by March 25 in the Nigerian Premier League, Wolves were on the 11th position on the 20-clubs league with 21 points from five wins, six draws and three loses out of 14 matches they have played and it remain to be seen how they will match Lidoda Duvha who are lying on the 14th position with 23 points from six victories, five draws and 12 loses.