Defending champions TP Mazembe will have their work cut out for them it they want to stay in the CAF Champions League after being beaten in the first leg of the second round of the showpiece event of African club football. Record winners Al Ahly and fellow Cairo giants Zamalek look good for the group phase though after positive first leg results.
Although Mazembe knew their trip to the Botola Pro champions would be tough, Les Corbeaux were shocked by their 2-0 defeat in Morocco – a result proving that under former Real Madrid coach John Toshack Le Rouge et Blanc have become a formidable force. They won their first championship since 2010 last year and look on course to repeat that success. Against Mazembe they looked the better side and deservedly went ahead through Abdellatif Noussir before the break. Reda Hajhouj scored from the spot midway through the second half in Marrakesh to give the North Africans a sizable advantage ahead of the return leg in Lubumbashi.
Stade Malien 1-3 ZESCO United
Zambian champions ZESCO United's away form in the competition has not been the anchor of their progress, so a 3-1 victory in Mali was more than most of their supporters expected. This was even more the case at the start of the match after the hosts took the lead through Moussakoye Diallo. But Mwape Mwelwa found an equaliser just before the break and the Zambian visitors found their rhythm in the second half as DR Congo striker Idris Mbombo scored twice in the last quarter of an hour to give the visitors the victory and the advantage ahead of the return leg.
Al Ahly, who have won the competition a record eight times, but have failed to progress to the group stage in the last two years, scored twice in Dar es Salaam against Young Africans. Unfortunately, one of the goals was into their own net to make the final score 1-1. Striker Amr Gamal opened early on, but central defender Ahmed Hegazy scored an own goal shortly afterwards. The Egyptians had some opportunities to add to their tally, but failed to leave the tie evenly poised. Their Cairo rivals Zamalek were buoyed by the attendance of a large fan base, whom authorities had allowed to watch the continental competition. The White Knights did not disappoint them as they scored an emphatic 2-0 victory against Algerian rookies MO Bejaia. Mahmoud Kahraba and Ahmed Hamoudi scored the goals in the second half.
Côte d’Ivoire club ASEC Mimosas failed to score in their two previous matches at home in the competition, playing both to goalless draws. They scored twice this time around though as second half goals from Youssouf Dao and Serge Arnaud Aka gave them a 2-0 victory. In Omdurman, last year's semi-finalists Al Merreikh had to come from behind twice to snatch a draw against 2014 winners ES Setif. The Algerian side's goals were scored by Eudes Dagoulou and Abdelmoumen Djabou, while Ragei Abdelati scored both equalisers.
Player of the week
Last year Enyimba striker Mfon Udoh was linked with a move to Egyptian giants Zamalek, but Elephants' fans are pleased he decided to stay with the Nigerian champions after putting on his scoring boots for the Champions League. He scored twice in the preliminary round, added a another brace against Vital'O in the first round and then went one better on the weekend as he just about destroyed Tunisian club Etoile du Sahel by himself, grabbing a hat-trick in the 3-0 victory for the biggest win of the first legs. The goals take the Nigerian international to seven goals total to lead the scorer charts.
3 – The number of games AS Vita Club have won 1-0 at home consecutively. In the preliminary round, the Congo DR club won 2-0 on the road and then followed that up with a 1-0 win at home, while in the first round they beat Ferraviario Maputo again 1-0 at home in the first leg and then managed a 1-1 draw on the road to advance. On Sunday they put up the familiar score against South African club Sundowns 1-0, with Kule Mbombo scoring the winner late in game.
What they said
"Young Africans are a very good side technically and tactically and they played a good game. However, we took the lead and could have won had it not been for some wasted chances, but nothing is final yet. We need to focus more in the second leg to get the result we need," Al Ahly coach Martin Jol said after his side's 1-1 against Young Africans.
Have your say
Can Sundowns bounce back from defeat in the Congo DR to advance to the group stage of the competition for the first time since 2001, when they went all the way to the final – losing only against Al Ahly?