The first round, first leg matches of both the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup were played over the weekend, with 32 teams in each competition looking to set themselves on the path for the next phase with grueling fixtures witnessing surprising results in both competitions.
In the top-tier Champions League, current title holders and five winners TP Mazembe opened the defence of their crown with a 2-2 draw away to St.George of Ethiopia [photo below]in what was a ding dong battle in a feisty atmosphere at the magnificent Bahir Dar Stadium that saw over 60,000 cheering fans watch the exciting clash.
In the other end Tanzanian giants Yanga produced a virtuoso performance beating hosts APR 1-2 away from home to announce their real intentions while Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca stamped their authority in style walloping hapless CNaPS of Madagascar 5-1 at home in a one sided affair.Zambian side Zesco added fuel to an already burning fire when they crushed Guinea champions Horoya 4-1 at the Levy Mwanawasa stadium in Ndola.
On the other hand Egyptian giants Al Ahly drew away from home, being held to a goalless draw at Angola’s Recreativo do Libolo.while Sudanese giants Al Mereikh produced a slice of brilliance away in Nigeria to upset hosts Warri Wolves 0-1 in a topsy turvy clash while fellow countrymen Enyimba were in no mood for jokes crushing Vital O of Burundi 5-1 to put one foot forward in the second leg to be played in Bujumbura.
Other notable results saw Sudanese side Al Hilal fail to replicate the form by rivals Al Mereikh when they lost 1-0 to hosts Al Ahly .Zamalek look to be on course for the second round with a 1-0 away win at Cameroon’s Union Douala, while the likes of Stade Malien
South African sides Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs also had diverse fortunes: the Brazilians beat Congo side AC Leopards 2-0 at home, while the Amakhosi slumped to a 1-0 loss at home to ASEC Mimosas as their poor form continued in earnest.
In the Confederation Cup, ENPPI, Azam FC, CF Mounana, SC Villa, Zanaco, Esperance and Kawkab Marrakech claimed emphatic victories to put them in powerful positions to advance into the next round, while the remainder of the ties appear to be very much in the balance.
Azam plugged Bidvest Wits into trouble doing themselves an enormous favour beating them 0-3 away in in one of the best performances in the CAF Confederations Cup.SC Villa of Uganda registered a superb performance and score line hitting JKU 4-0 to seal a place in the second round.
The second leg clashes for both the Champions League and Confederation Cup will be played on the weekend of March 18-20.
CAF Champions League results, March 11-13
AS Vita 1-0 Ferroviario Maputo
Mamelodi Sundowns 2-0 AC Leopards
Warri Wolves 0-1 Al Merreikh
Etoile du Congo 1-1 ES Setif
Wydad Casablanca 5-1 CNaPS Sport
Kedus Giorgis 2-2 TP Mazembe
Enyimba 5-1 Vital’O
Olympique Khourigba 1-1 Etoile du Sahel
Stade Malien 2-0 Coton Sport
Zesco United 4-1 Horoya
APR 1-2 Young Africans
Recreativo do Libolo 0-0 Al Ahly
Kaizer Chiefs 0-1 ASEC Mimosas
Al Ahli Tripoli 1-0 Al Hilal
Union Douala 0-1 Zamalek
Club Africain 1-0 MO Bejaia
CAF Confederation Cup results, March 11-13
Vita Club Mokanda 0-0 Police
Sagrada Esperanca 1-0 Desportiva de Maputo
Mouloudia d’Oran 2-0 SC Gagnoa
Kawkab Marrakech 3-0 Barrack Young Controllers
Bidvest Wits 0-3 Azam FC
Renaissance 0-2 Esperance de Tunis
Harare City 1-2 Zanaco
Stade Gabesien 2-1 AS Kaloum
Nasarawa United 1-0 CS Constantine
Misr El Makasa 3-1 CS Don Bosco
FC Saint Eloi Lupopo 2-1 Al Ahly Shendi
Al Ittihad Tripoli 1-0 Medeama
UMS de Loum 1-1 FUS Rabat
SC Villa 4-0 JKU
Atletico Olympic 0-2 CF Mounana
Africa Sports 0-2 ENPPI