Aduana Stars destroy Fosa Juniors, mixed fortunes for Nigeria's quartet
Aduana Stars were the big winners in the CAF Confederation Cup playoff round during an exciting weekend of action across Africa, although there were mixed fortunes for Nigeria's four representatives.
In the most high-profile clash of the weekend, Raja Casablanca secured a valuable 2-0 victory away at Zanaco, but last year's finalists SuperSport United are in danger after a home defeat by Gor Mahia.
However, the weekend belongs to the reigning Ghana Premier League champions, who romped to a 6-1 victory over Madagascar's Fosa Juniors to take a giant step towards the group stage.
Stars were dumped out of the CAF Champions League after being defeated by Algeria's ES Setif, but put their mixed start to their domestic season behind them to smash the Juniors.
The hosts even fell behind after Jose Alain Randrianantenaina fired home the opener, but doubles for Sam Adams and Elvis Opoku, as well as further strikes from Bright Adjei and Zakaria Mumuni secured a convincing triumph.
Stars are Ghana's last standing representatives in continental competition, but the Nigeria Professional Football League headed into this round with hopes that all four of their clubs would reach the Confederation Cup.
Things are looking a little bleaker for two of their contenders, after MFM FC and Akwa United were defeated by Djoliba and Al-Hilal on Sunday evening.
Debutants MFM FC will have been counting on a favourable draw and partisan support in their Lagos home to secure a big first-leg victory, but Mohamed Cisse's goal secured an away win for the Malians as they take control of the tie.
Aiteo Cup holders were already up against it after being pitted against Sudanese heavyweights Al-Hilal, and their task was made much tougher after the Omdurman giants netted twice inside the first half an hour.
Reigning champions Plateau United were also handed a tricky draw, after being pitted against Algeria's USM Alger, but despite being pegged back when Faouzi Yaya cancelled out King Osanga's opener, the hosts netted a late winner through Emmanuel James.
However, United were exposed in Tunisia when they conceded three times inside the opening eight minutes against Etoile du Sahel in their Champions League First Round, and will be wary about another capitulation in North Africa in the return leg.
Nigeria's final representatives, Enyimba, will fancy their chances of progressing after bouncing back from Daine Klate's third-minute goal to hold Bidvest Wits 1-1 away after Ibrahim Mustapha equalised two years later.
Wits at least know that they can progress with a score draw or any kind of win when they travel to West Africa, but the same cannot be said for SuperSport United, whose own troubled season deteriorated further with a home defeat by Kenya's Gor Mahia.
K'Ogalo are a well-organised and disciplined outfit under Dylan Kerr, and while they fell just short against Tunisia's Esperance in the Champions League - drawing 0-0 then losing 1-0 away - they ensured there'd be no regrets on the road with a 1-0 win at Machakos Stadium.
SSU have won only three of their last 22 fixtures in all competitions and are still in threat of relegation from the PSL.
While they managed to turn things around in the last round against Petro de Luanda, Jacques Tuyisenge's late penalty has made this one a tough ask.
Elsewhere, Congolese heavyweights AS Vita Club downed CS La Mancha 1-0 at home, while Welayta Dicha of Ethiopia weren't able to build on their shock victory over SC Zamalek earlier in the competition as they were defeated 2-0 by Tanzanian giants Young Africans.
Finally, one of the biggest shocks of the weekend came in Senegal, as domestic champions Generation Foot stunned Renaissance Berkane 3-1.
The Moroccans had themselves surprised African royalty in Club Africain in the last round and looked on course for further progression when African Nations Championship top scorer Ayoub El Kaabi netted an away goal in the 37th minute.
However, no one had an answer to Amadou Dia Ndiaye, who netted a 24-minute hat-trick to leave the North Africans in jeopardy of missing out on the group stage.
Ed Dove is the Soccer Editor for KweséESPN. Follow him on Twitter @EddyDove.