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Phala stars as SuperSport scrape through

Winger Thuso Phala was the two-goal star Saturday as SuperSport United of South Africa reached the CAF Confederation Cup semi-finals for the first time.

His stoppage-time equaliser salvaged a 2-2 draw for the Pretoria outfit away to Zesco United of Zambia, and a quarter-final victory on away goals after a goalless first leg.

SuperSport will host the first leg of a semi-final against Club Africain of Tunisia or Mouloudia Alger of Algeria next weekend.

“It does not matter who we meet as all the clubs are giants at this stage,” said SuperSport goalkeeper Ronwen Williams.

Zesco led twice in Copperbelt city Ndola and seem destined to advance as a match staged in hot conditions drifted into extra time.

But the home side failed to mark Phala as a hopeful long ball dropped into the goalmouth and he beat goalkeeper and captain Jacob Banda at his near post.

Zesco were ahead within four minutes of the kick-off with John Ching’andu volleying a deep cross past Williams at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.

Another long cross led to the first SuperSport equaliser on 34 minutes with Phala firing the ball across Banda into the far corner of the net.

Slack SuperSport marking allowed Kenyan David Owino to put Zesco ahead again on 50 minutes as he latched on to a headed flick into the goalmouth off a corner.

Former Confederation Cup title-holders FUS Rabat of Morocco reached the semi-finals through a 5-4 penalty shootout victory over CS Sfaxien of Tunisia Friday.

They await the overall winners between title-holders TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Al Hilal Obied of Sudan.

The Confederation Cup is the second-tier African club competition and there is a record $1.25 million (1.05 million euros) first prize at stake this season.


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