CAFCL Match Day 1 wrap

Posted: 14 January 2019 Time: 10:35 am

The 2018/19 CAF Champions League group stage campaign kicked off in fine style over the weekend, as the continent’s big clubs sent out an early message.

KickOff.com wraps up what was an interesting weekend of football from Match Day 1.

Group A

Former champions Mamelodi Sundowns travelled to Nigeria to face Lobi Stars, who showed that they cannot be underestimated as they registered a 2-1 victory over Pitso Mosimane’s men. Despite going a goal down after Anthony Laffor gave the hosts the lead seven minutes before the break, Stars bounced back on artificial turf to register a victory thanks to goals from Yaya Kone and Mathias Martins.

Moroccan outfit Wydad Casablanca, meanwhile, are top of the table following their 5-2 victory over Ivorian side ASEC Mimosas. The score was level at 1-1 when the referee blew for half time, but Wydad were ruthless in the second half, scoring four goals while ASEC netted once.  

Group B

Defending champions Esperance needed a goal in the third minute of second half stoppage time to collect a point away from home against Guinean side Horoya in Conakry. Anice Badri, who was the top scorer in the last edition of the Champions League with eight goals, proved why he is such an important player for the side with a goal that cancelled out Ocansey Mandela’s 67th minute strike.

Orlando Pirates also picked up a point on the road in the goalless draw against Zimbabwean side FC Platinum at Barbourfields Stadium, which was packed as excited fans welcomed the Buccaneers. 

Group C

Group favourites TP Mazembe registered a 2-0 victory over Egyptian side Ismailly. It was, however, not as easy as the scoreline suggests. Mazembe scored both goals in the final 10 minutes of the game, as Chico Uchindi and Kevin Mondeko struck for the DRC giants at Stade TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi.

Algerian side CS Constantine, meanwhile, registered a vital win away from home against Club Africain of Tunisia. Striker Abdenour Belkheir was the hero for Constantine at Stade Olympique de Sousse with a goal scored in the final minute of regulation time. 

Group D

Last year’s losing finalists Al Ahly were 2-0 winners at Borg El Arab Stadium against DRC side AS Vita Club. The eight-time champions opened the scoring five minutes after the hour-mark through Nasser Maher and then Ali Maaloul’s penalty in the 79th minute sealed maximum points for the Red Devils.

Tanzanian side Simba were dominant in their victory over Algeria’s JS Saoura, winning 3-0 at National Stadium in Dar es Salaam. Meddie Kagere’s second half brace inspired them to a convincing victory, after Emmanuel Okwi had given Simba the lead just before half-time.

Article by: Tshepang Mailwane

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