Mohamed 'Gedo' Nagy scored in the final minute to snatch a 2-1 win for Al Ahly of Egypt over Congo DR's TP Mazembe in the CAF Champions League.
His dramatic matchday-one winner behind closed doors at the Military Academy Stadium in Cairo came after Mazembe had defender Joel Kimwaki sent off before they equalised with ten men through substitute midfielder Mbwana Samata. Veteran striker Emad Moteab put the Red Devils ahead 11 minutes into a clash of six-time African champions Ahly and four-time African champions Mazembe, who were runners-up to Inter Milan in the 2010 FIFA Club World Cup.
'Gedo' sprang to international prominence at the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola, finishing leading scorer with five goals for champions Egypt despite never starting a match. Security concerns amid post-Arab spring political tensions in Egypt meant only media were permitted to attend the match at the 35,000-capacity stadium in the Egyptian capital.
Elswhere, a hat-trick from leading 2012 Champions League scorer Emmanuel Clottey earned debutants Berekum Chelsea of Ghana a 3-2 home victory over Zamalek of Egypt on Saturday in another Group B thriller. New signing Abdoulaye Cisse from Burkina Faso put the visitors ahead twice during the first half at Accra Sports Stadium with Clottey on target once and denied twice by the woodwork.
Clottey levelled again early in the second half and tapped home the winner a minute into stoppage time to give Chelsea a perfect start as they seek to emulate their London namesakes and win a Champions League.
Defending champions Esperance of Tunisia made a successful start in Group A thanks to a 2-0 victory over Sunshine Stars of Nigeria in Ijebu Ode through first-half goals from Youssef Msakni and Cameroon-born Yannick Ndjeng. Etoile Sahel completed a wonderful weekend for Tunisian clubs by winning 1-0 away to ASO Chlef of Algeria, with midfielder Aymen Belaid scoring the only goal just seven minutes into the first half.
A well rehearsed free-kick drill saw the ball floated toward the far post from where it was headed to the inrushing Belaid and he nodded the ball across the goalkeeper and into the far corner. Esperance host Chlef, Etoile entertain Sunshine, Chelsea visit Mazembe and Zamalek and Ahly clash in a Cairo derby when the second round of mini-league fixtures are staged over the weekend of 20-22 July.