The Cape Verde Islands have always had a reputation for its fiestas and party atmosphere but the island archipelago rocked to a beat of delirium at the weekend after a sensational success in the CAF Champions League.
Victory for the former Portuguese colony's domestic champions, Sporting Praia, over the Moroccan giants Royal Armed Forces was the cause, with the victory arguably the biggest success to date for the island nation. Africa's newest giant-killers, who draw their name, badge and strip from their Lisbon-based namesakes, came back from a 3-0 defeat in the first leg in Rabat last month to create an extraordinary upset.
Given little chance of success, Sporting confounded the sceptics with two goals inside the first 30 minutes through Tigana and Ze Tchetcha before a dramatic late flurry produced an equaliser from Yuri three minutes from time. Penalties were therefore required to settle the outcome, and it was then that the celebrations really began in earnest as Sporting won the shootout 5-4 to advance to a second round meeting with InterClube of Angola later this month.
As for Royal Armed Forces, the former continental champions who had set themselves a target of winning this year's Champions League, they were left to limp home to reflect on one of the most humbling defeats in their history.
Joining them on the sidelines will be Ghana's Hearts of Oak, another of the former champions in this year's field. Hearts had the task of battling back from a three-goal first leg deficit against FC105 Libreville, but fell one goal short in Accra on Sunday.
Playing their first match under new Israeli coach Eyal Lachman, Hearts won 3-1 but went out of the competition 3-4 on aggregate. The Gabon army outfit now take on another of Africa's legendary clubs, TP Mazembe Englebert of the Democratic Republic of Congo, in the next round.
Enyimba, Zamalek cruise
Senegal's AS Douanes came from a goal down and with just 10 players to beat CF Ouagadougou 3-2 away and progress after a goalless draw in their fist leg tie. CFO took the lead in Ouagadougou's Municipal stadium after just 10 minutes through Boureima Korbeogo's penalty but Babacar Mbengue, who was the top scorer in the Senegalese league last year, equalised before half-time.
The visitors, however, were reduced to 10 men before half-time when Alioune Diouf was sent off for a dangerous tackle and fell a goal behind shortly after re-start. In the end though, the customs men from Dakar fought back with goals from Vito Badiane in the 66th minute and Mbengue seven minutes from the end to snatch a difficult away win.
Their reward is a meeting with CAF Champions League holders Etoile Sahel of Tunisia in the second round.
Nigeria's Enyimba, who won two titles in 2003 and 2004, sailed through a tough tie with Congo's Diables Noiurs. They won 3-2 away in the second leg on Sunday to add to a 4-1 home triumph a fortnight earlier. Two goals by from Stephen Worgu in the 50th and 75th minutes added to the double he scored in the first leg. Uche Kalu got Sunday's winner in Brazzaville.
Five-time winners Zamalek also won a second successive game to see off Rwanda's APR FC 4-1 on aggregate. In Cairo on Sunday, they produced a 2-0 home win in the second leg over the soldiers from Kigali but only opened the scoring after half-time when Mahmoud Fathallah, a member of Egypt's CAF Africa Cup of Nations winning squad last month, netted a penalty. Substitute Sherif Ashraf doubled the score 11 minutes from time.
History was created at the Stade Said Mohamed Sheik in Moroni, meanwhile, where an African club competition match was hosted in the Comoros Islands for the first time. The home side, Coin Nord de Mitsamiouli, won the game 1-0 but it was not enough to overcome a 2-0 deficit from the first leg against Curepipe Starlight of Mauritius.
CAF Champions League first round results
(Aggregate scores in brackets)
Entente Setif (Algeria) 2-0 (7-1)ASC SNIM (Mauritania)
Primeiro Agosto (Angola) 0-0 (2-1) Stade Malien (Mali)
CF Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) 2-3 (2-3) AS Douanes (Senegal)
Sporting Praia (Cape Verde Islands) 3-0 (3-3, 5-4 pens) Royal Armed Forces (Morocco)
Coin Nord Mitsamiouli (Comoros Islands) 1-0 (1-2) Curepipe Starlight (Mauritius)
St Michel United (Seychelles) 0-1 (1-4) Stade Tamponnaise (Reunion)Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa) 4-0 (5-0) Miembeni SC (Zanzibar) Club Africain (Tunisia) 1-0 (3-1) ASC Saloum (Senegal)
ZESCO United (Zambia) 0-0 (2-0) Uganda Revenue Authority (Uganda)
InterClube (Angola) 2-1 (4-2) Renacimiento (Equatorial Guinea)
Diables Noirs (Congo) 2-3 (3-7) Enyimba (Nigeria)
Zamalek (Egypt) 2-0 (4-1) APR FC (Rwanda)
Awassa Kenema (Ethiopia) 1-1 (1-4) Simba SC (Tanzania)
AshantiGold (Ghana) 6-1 (6-2) Sahel SC (Niger)
Hearts of Oak (Ghana) 3-1 (3-4) FC105 Libreville (Gabon)
Africa Sports (Côte d'Ivoire) 3-0 (3-0) Tonnerre FC (Benin)
Lesotho Correction Services (Lesotho) 1-0 (1-4) Platinum Stars (South Africa) Olympique Khouribga (Morocco) 2-0 (2-0) Sporting Bissau (Guinea Bissau)
Gombe United (Nigeria) 2-0 (2-2, 4-1 pens) Daring Club Motema Pembe (DR Congo)
Dynamos (Zimbabwe) 2-0 (3-0) Royal Leopards (Swaziland)
Coton Sport (Cameroon)-Vital'O (Burundi) (1-0)
Union Douala (Cameroon)-ASKO Kara (Togo) (1-3)
Ajesaia (Madagascar)-Costa do Sol (Mozambique) (0-2)