Al Ahli out of African Champions League

JOHANNESBURG - Holders Al Ahli of Egypt were knocked out of the African Champions League on Saturday, beaten on away goals by Nigerians Kano Pillars. Nigeria's other representatives, Heartland FC, overcame last year's runners-up Coton Sport of Cameroon in another upset. Al Ahli were expected to advance after a 1-1 away draw in the first leg of their third round tie but a 2-2 result in the return match in Cairo put paid to their hopes. Coton Sport, trailing 2-1 from the first leg against Heartland, went out after a 1-1 draw in Garoua. Zimbabwe's Monomotapa continued a weekend of upsets in the African Champions League by beating ASEC Abidjan of the Ivory Coast on Sunday for a place in the group phase. Monomotapa overcame the former African champions 2-0 in Harare for a 2-1 aggregate triumph, advancing to the last eight in their first year of continental competition. It was the second successive year a team from Zimbabwe, a country reeling under a political and economic crisis, has reached the league phase. Monomotapa, one of five clubs in the group stages who have never previously qualified, were indebted to goals by Charles Chiutsa and Daniel Kamunenga who grabbed a stoppage-time winner.