Johannesburg, Monday @PeopleSports11
ASEC Mimosas of the Ivory Coast are the former CAF Champions League winners in most danger of elimination when the 2018/2019 preliminary round resumes this week.
The Abidjan club who conquered Africa in 1998 hold a precarious 1-0 lead over Mangasport of Gabon going into the second leg in Libreville Wednesday.
Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates of South Africa, Club Africain of Tunisia and Ismaily of Egypt the other former trophy-holders in action are well placed to advance.
ASEC failed to build on an early Abdoul Tapsoba goal at home and had to settle for the narrowest of leads ahead of a visit to central Africa.
An advantage for the Ivorians is not conceding at home and if they score even once in Gabon, Mangasport must net three times to qualify.
ASEC are seeking an 11th appearance in the group phase while Mangasport hope to become the first Gabonese club to get that far.
Cameroon football desperately needs a boost after losing the right to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations having fallen behind with preparations amid security concerns.
Coton Sport, the 2008 runners-up, can lift some gloom by overcoming a 3-1 deficit when they host ASF Bobo Dioulasso of Burkina Faso, a club back in the competition after 48 years.
The Moussa Kalamou goal that gave Coton from northwestern city Garoua a short-lived first-leg lead could yet prove crucial should the away-goal rule come into play.
Nigeria have been represented by 27 clubs in the premier African club competition but only Enyimba achieved glory, winning back-to-back titles in 2003 and 2004.
Lobi Stars launched a second challenge disappointingly as they fell 1-0 away to modest UMS Loum of Cameroon with Jean Koa the match-winner.
Home advantage offers Lobi a realistic chance to turn the tables as Cameroonian clubs traditionally struggle on the road.
Primeiro Agosto of Angola were the surprise side of the 2018 edition, reaching the semi-finals before controversially losing to eventual champions Esperance of Tunisia. But Otoho of Congo Brazzaville showed no respect for the elevated status of the Luanda club last week as they raced into a two-goal lead before losing 4-2 in the Angolan capital. -AFP