The three clubs with the most CAF Champions League titles to their name remain on course to make it to the playoff round of this year's competition, as they managed to avoid defeats in their away legs in their first round matches on the weekend.
Game of the week
Kaizer Chiefs 0-1 ASEC Mimosas
The 1998 African champions from Côte d'Ivoire proved too strong for South African glamour club Kaizer Chiefs, who seem destined to continue their disappointing run in the competition. The Amakhosi, who went into the game on the back of a league and a cup defeat, had more of the opening of the game and could have gone ahead but midfielder George Maluleka missed two clear opportunities. Instead, the home side were made to pay on the hour as Adama Bakayoko connected with a header to give his side the lead. Even after going a goal behind, Chiefs continued dominating and nearly grabbed an equaliser, but ASEC goalkeeper Koffi Kouakou proved equal to the task. Chiefs will now need to win in Abidjan if they want to make it through to the group stage for the first time in their history.
Warri Wolves 0-1 Al Merreikh
Although Sudanese club Al Merreikh did well in reaching the semi-finals of the competition last year, Nigerian club Warri Wolves would have fancied their chances ahead of their first leg match at home in Warri. The team from Delta State were wary in the run-up to the game with goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye saying they respect their opponents. “They are also not invincible.” However, the visitors proved themselves on the day invincible as Diego Garzitto's side secured a valuable 1-0 away victory against the rookies, who now have a tough task ahead of them if they want to extend their stay in the competition beyond the return leg.
Well-travelled coach Martin Jol got his inaugural CAF Champions League campaign off to a good start with record champions Al Ahly as the Red Devils managed to come back from Angola with a goalless draw from their match against Recreativo do Libolo. The defending champions TP Mazembe, who also have a new coach in Hubert Velud, were held to a 2-2 draw in Ethiopia by Saint George. Assefa Behaile gave the home side the lead, but Daniel Nii Adjei and an own goal turned things around, before the home side levelled matters in the second half through Girma Adane.
The biggest wins of the round belonged to former champions Enyimba and Wydad Casablanca, who managed to register 5-1 victories against Vital'O and CnaPS Sport respectively. Two other former champions, ES Setif and Etoile du Sahel, secured important away draws. The 2014 champions Setif, escaped with a 1-1 from Etoile du Congo, while Etoile du Sahel drew 1-1 in Morocco against Olympique Khouribga. Tanzanian club Young Africans, whose last appearance in the second round dates back to 2007, will fancy their chances to at least repeat that success after winning 2-1 in Rwanda against APR. Other winners were Vita Club, who beat Ferroviario Maputo 1-0, Stade Malien, who registered a 2-0 victory against Coton Sport and Sundowns FC, who beat AS Leopards by the same score in Pretoria.
Player of the week
Former Scotland coach Alex McLeish, who recently took over five-time champions Zamalek, has centre-back Mohammed Koffi to thank for a 1-0 victory at Union Duala. The Ivorian-born Burkina Faso international, who played in the 2013 CAF Africa Cup of Nations final that the Stallions lost against Nigeria, scored with a tremendous strike to not only give the five-time champions the all-important away goal, but also an away victory. His right-footed shot from outside the area after dispossessing his opponent separated the two teams at the end.
4 – The number of clubs that have made it three victories out of three in the competition. Vita Club, Stade Malien, Zesco United and Young Africans all managed to win both legs in the preliminary round and added a victory in their first leg of the first round over the weekend. Vita have managed to do so without conceding a single goal.
What they said
"It’s not over yet. We are not going to relax. This is just the first half. We have another game in Guinea, so we still have to work hard, the game is still on,” Zesco United coach George Lwandamina. The Zambian side secured a 4-1 victory against Horaya in the first leg.
Have your say
Can Sudanese clubs Al Merreikh and Al Hillal repeat their excellent performance from last year and again qualify for the group stage? Last year they both managed to qualify for the semi-finals, but were knocked out in the round of the last four.