The status quo was maintained with shocking and surprising results dominating the weekend’s first leg matches of the preliminary round of the 2016 Orange CAF Champions League.
Like in previous editions, some big guns tumbled whilst some rising forces took advantage to leave their marks.
Two-time winners, Enyimba of Nigeria were among the biggest casualties suffering a lone goal loss to Ugandan champions Vipers away in Kampala. Erisa Ssekisambu scored the only goal on 72 minutes to give Vipers a slim lead ahead of the return leg in a fortnight in Aba.
South African big spenders, Mamelodi Sundowns suffered a similar fate going down by a similar scoreline to Zimbabwean debutants, Chicken Inn in Bulawayo. Michelle Katsvairo’s 34th minute goal separated the two sides, giving the Zimbabwean champions a winning start to their maiden continental campaign.
There was yet another surprise in Lobamba, situated 16-kilometres of the capital Mbabane, where Swazi champions, Swallows silenced visiting APR of Rwanda 1-0. Not even the presence of Emery Bayisenge, Olivier Kwizera, Abdoul Rwatubyaye, Yannick Mukunzi and Jean Claude Iranzi, all members of the Rwandan team that reached the quarters at the just ended Orange African Nations Championship (CHAN) could change the fortunes of the Rwanda army team, who failed to recover from Sandile Steven Hlatjwayo’s 26th minute goal.
Visiting CNaps Sport of Madagascar left it late against their hosts and Kenyan champions Gor Mahia, going away with a 2-1 win in Nairobi. Lalaina jacquot Manampisoa scored the winner ten minutes from time after Gor’s Enock Agwanda had canceled Rinjala Raherinaivo’s 13th minute opener just before the break.
Libyan side, Ahly Tripoli pulled a surprising 2-1 win over Onze Createurs of Mali beating the latter at their Bamako backyard 2-1. Despite the political instability and lack of a competitive domestic competition in the North African country, second half goals from Mohamed Shafrod and Mohamed Ghanudi was enough to seal victory. Lassine Soumaoro gave the Malians a first half lead scoring on 32 minutes.
Lesotho champions, Lioli were given a bitter pill to swallow by visiting Vital’O from Burundi who beat them 2-1 in front of their fans in Maseru. Laudit Mavugo shot the guests into the lead on 35 minutes before Pierrejunior Maba restored parity two minutes later. Hussein Shaban’s 46th minute goal secured victory for the Burundians.
Fresh from guiding DR Congo to the ultimate at the CHAN in Rwanda last week, coach Florent Ibenge was at his best again, steering AS Vita to a 3-0 win over Mafunzo away in Zanzibar. With CHAN stars Padou Bompunga, Emmanuel Ngudikama and Guy Lusadisu in the line-up, the Kinshasa-based side were simply too much for their hosts. Ikanga Mayimona, Ngudikama and Ngonda Muzinga each scored in the first half to wrap up victory.
Other biggest winners were Saint George of Ethiopia, who thumped St. Michel of Seychelles 3-0 in Addis Ababa. Veteran Adame Girma began the goal harvest after 16 minutes before Behailu Assefa and Nigeria-import Godwin Okwara scored in either half to complete the rout.
Striker Luiz Luciano Silva sealed a hat-trick in Angola champions Recreativo do Libolo’s 5-1 drubbing of Racing Micomiseng of Equatorial Guinea in Luanda. Silva scored on 18th, 54th and 63rd minutes before Alfredo Ribeiro and Mamadou Diawara added one each. Uriel Keleba netted the consolation for the visitors.
A brace from Erick Mathoho and others from Bernard Parker and Sula Matovu powered South African giants Orlando Pirates to a 4-0 win at the expense of Volcan Club of Comoros in Moroni.
Mamadou Coulibaly, Mamadou Doumbia and Moussa Coulibaly helped Stade Malien to a 3-1 home win over Racing Club of Burkina Faso. Dramane Kabore reduced the deficit for the guests before the interval.
Ghana champions, Ashantigold sweated past ten-man MO Bejaia of Algeria, managing a lone goal win in the mining city of Obuasi. Joshua Tijani scored on the hour mark before Adel Lakhdari was sent off ten minutes later.
It was double delight for Moroccan torchbearers, OC Khouribga and Wydad Athletic Club who beat Gamtel (Gambia) 2-1 and AS Douanes (Niger) in Marrakech and Casablanca respectively.
Khouribga scored twice in the second half through Ibrahim Bezghoudi and Rachid Tiberkanine after Modou Sarr had given the Gambian champions the lead at the break.
For Wydad, Reda Hajhouj and Abdoulkader Abdoulaye scored in either half to secure victory.
Zimbabwe-import Daniel Ngoma was hero for Tanzania’s Young African scoring the only goal of their clash against Cercle de Joachim of Mauritius in Curepipe just as former winners ASEC Mimosas of Cote d’Ivoire inflicted a lone goal victory over AS Cotontchad of Chad in N’djamena thanks to Yannick Zakri’s 72nd minute strike.


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