Game of the week
MC El Eulma 1-0 CS Sfaxien
Competing in their first-ever Champions League campaign, Algerian club MC El Eulma stunned Asante Kotoko in the first round of qualifying by winning 2-1 in Ghana after playing to a goalless draw at home. In the second round first leg game, widely-travelled coach Jules Accorsi, who has been in charge of clubs in France, Morocco, Tunisia, Vietnam, Oman, Madagascar and Benin, had his team play a well-organised match against the 2006 finalists CS Sfaxien. The Algerian club dominated proceedings and although their only reward was youth international Walid Derrardja's first-half goal, they will fancy their chances of securing a historic place in the group phase in the return leg.
Moghreb Tetouan 1-0 Al Ahly
The clash between Moroccan club Moghreb Tetouan and Cairo giants Al Ahly was a real David v Goliath affair. On the one hand, there was Tetouan, whose only previous participation in the competition ended in the preliminary round in 2013 after a defeat against Senegalese club Casa Sports. On the other, the eight-time champions Al Ahly. But in the end it was the fans of the home side who had plenty to cheer about as Mouhcine Iajour's free-kick - a minute into stoppage time - gave Tetouan a 1-0 victory and a good shot at making it to the group phase for the first time in their history. Ahly coach Juan Carlos Garrido started the match without a recognised striker, looking instead to deny the home side opportunities. His tactics nearly paid dividends as they held on to the draw until injury time when Iajour decided the match with his sixth goal of the tournament.
Four-time winners TP Mazembe gave away a 2-0 lead away to Stade Malien, for whom Ismael Kone scored twice. The visitors came back to draw 2-2, prompting striker Malien Mohamed Cisse to say: “That is football. They were better than we were in the first half, but in the end, we should have won.” Congolese club Leopards secured their third victory in a row, beating Egyptian rookies Smouha 1-0, while USM Alger proved too strong for Kaloum Star, winning 2-1, with Mokhtar Benmoussa scoring the winner for the home side, who are coached by former Togo coach Otto Pfister. Mohamed Benyettou scored a brace as last years' champions ES Setif snatched a 2-2 draw in Morocco against Raja Casablanca.
Player of the week
Veteran Sudanese international Saif Ali is an experienced campaigner for his home-town club Al Hilal of Omdurman. The defensive midfielder captains his team and has not only played in the Champions League before, he has also represented his country in numerous FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers. His goal for the 27-times Ethiopian champions in the DR Congo city of Mbuji-Mayi gave Al Hilal an important 1-0 away victory against Sanga Balende and the advantage ahead of the return leg.
3 – The number of 1-0 victories that Congo club AC Leopards have achieved in this year's competition. After receiving a bye into the first round the 2012 CAF Confederation Cup winners beat Kenyan club Gor Mahia 1-0 home and away. In the second round Les Fauves de Niari secured a 1-0 victory at home in Dolisie against Egyptian rookies Smouha.
What they said
"The draw is a bad result for us because we were leading 2-0. I am disappointed, but not demotivated. I am very happy to have scored and I promise that we will qualify in Lubumbashi,” TP Mazembe striker Cheibane Traore. The Mali international scored for his side against his former team Stade Malien in their 2-2 draw.
Have your say
Can Al Hilal and Al Merrikh hold on to their first leg leads to give Sudan two teams in the group stages of the competition for the first time since 2009, when both clubs also made it past the second round?