- Wydad were beaten 2-1 by Nigeria’s Rivers United
- Esperance suffered a similar loss to another Nigeria team Plateau United
- The second leg matches are scheduled for this weekend
Defending champions Wydad Athletic Club and Tunisia’s Esperance du Tunis were handed shock defeats in Nigeria in the first leg of the second preliminary round matches of the CAF Champions League matches played over the weekend.
Both sides suffered 2-1 defeats in West Africa and are now in sticky situations heading into the return leg at home next weekend.
Wydad were handed a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Rivers United who had to come from behind in Port Hacourt.
Sambou Junior had given Wydad a 32nd minute lead but it lasted only three minutes as Malachi Owahuma levelled before Ghanaian Paul Acquah scored the winner in the second half.
Meanwhile at the New Jos Stadium, Esperance suffered a similar defeat at the hands of Plateau United, with the game also following a similar script.
Esperance suffer similar loss
Anice Badri had given Esperance the lead after 28 minutes, bur the home side equalized through Emmanuel Uchegu in the 35th minute and Mustapha Yuga scored the winner at the stroke of halftime.
The two North Africa giants must now win their second leg matches at home this weekend, to earn a place in the group stages of the competition.
CR Belouizdad also suffered a similar defeat in West Africa, going down to Mali’s Djoliba. Oumar Camara and Djibril Coulibaly scored in between Mohamed Belkhir’s equalizer, leaving the Algerians with a tough task in the return leg next weekend.
Elsewhere, South Africa’s 2016 champions Mamelodi Sundowns earned the biggest victory of the first leg matches this weekend.
Sundowns have put one foot into another adventure in the group phases after thrashing Seychellois side La Passe 7-0 away from home. The result means that La Passe have to score eight unanswered goals in the second leg to overturn the result.
Sirino with a brace
Gaston Sirino scored a brace with Grant Kekana, Aubrey Modiba, Sipho Mbule and Sphelele Mkhulise adding one each, on top of an own goal from Hiroy Jupitor.
Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena was delighted with the performance of the side and clearly underlined their ambition to go all the way and win the competition.
“Clearly and obviously with the ambition that we have and the desire to go very, very far and in fact challenge for the Champions League this season, we are going meet even more stern and difficult oppositions than this and that’s when the habits must kick in,” the coach told the club’s official website.
He added; “Habits come from games, training sessions and we always try our best to be at this optimum level where we can always look to give our best on the pitch.”
The Seychelles side hosted their home match in Pretoria, where they will also play the second leg nexy weekend.
Meanwhile in other results, last year’s losing finalists and record champions Al Ahly earned a slim 1-0 away victory against US Monastir of Tunisia with Mohamed Abdelmonem scoring at the stroke of 90 minutes.
Bitter rivals Zamalek also earned a similar victory against Burundi’s Flambeau du Centre, with the latter having agreed to play their home match in Alexandria.