Favourites stumble out of the gate
© AFP

Several big-name clubs will have to dig deep if they want to advance to the second round of qualifying in the CAF Champions League. Defending champions Al Ahly, Raja Casablanca, Coton Sport and the sole Nigerian representatives left, Enyimba, slumped to defeats, while Berekum Chelsea managed no better than a draw at home. The 16 winners from the home-and-away ties will advance to the final round of qualifying. The winner of the competition will represent the continent at the FIFA World Club Cup in Morocco at the end of the year.

Game of the week
Nkana FC 2-2 KCC FC
Ugandan champions KCC FC stayed on course to advance to the second round of the Champions League for just the second time in their history after holding Nkana FC to a 2-2 draw in Kitwe, despite being reduced to ten men in the second half. Tony Odur gave the visitors the lead in the first half and Jamal Salim kept the score at 1-0 after saving Ronald Kampamba's penalty – having already saved a spot kick in the preliminary round. The Chipolopolo striker made amends shortly afterwards with an equalising goal from the edge of the box. Shadrack Musonda put Nkana, who are the only Zambian team to have ever made the final of the showpiece event of African club football, into the lead shortly after the restart. Things went from bad to worse for the visitors when Tom Masiko was sent off for a second bookable offence. However, the Kasasiro Boys snatched a draw late in the game when Brian Majwega scored from the penalty spot.

The surprise
Young Africans 1-0 Al Ahly
As defending champions and winners of the CAF Super Cup Al Ahly were always expected to return to Cairo with a result from their away trip to Tanzania, but the home side had other plans as they took control of the game from the opening minutes. Taifa Stars international Nadir Haroub gave the Yanga, whose last appearance in the second round of the qualifiers dates back to 2007, their just reward with the match-winning goal with eight minutes remaining. It is the first victory the Tanzanian side have achieved in 13 matches against Egyptian opposition in continental competitions.

Other matches

West African pair Berekum Chelsea and Enyimba will have their work cut out for them if they want to prolong their stay in the competition beyond the first round after disappointing results in their home legs. Ghanaian side Berekum were held to a 1-1 draw by Libyan club Al-Ahly Benghazi, while Enyimba slumped to a 2-1 home defeat against Malian club AS Real Bamako, who came from behind to beat the Nigerians through goals by Mohamed Cisse and Amadou Samake.

Liberian club Barrack Young Controllers, who stunned Asante Kotoko in the preliminary round, played to a thrilling 3-3 draw against Sewe Sport, while AC Leopards seem well on course for the next round as they beat Primeiro de Agosto 4-1. Former champions Esperance, who have appeared in the semi-finals for the last four years, got the better of hosting Gor Mahia in a five-goal thriller, winning 3-2, while another former champion, TP Mazembe were held to a 1-1 draw at Les Astres.

Player of the week
For several seasons, Egyptian club Zamalek have been playing second-fiddle to Cairo city rivals Al Ahly, who won five Champions League titles in the last nine years. Against Angolan champions Kabuscorp the White Knights dominated the game, but could not convert their chances. That was until the 56th minute when veteran defender Mahmoud Fathalla rose above his markers to score with a powerful header from a corner kick to give the home side a 1-0 victory. The result leaves the tie wide open and keep Zamalek's hopes of a sixth Champions League title alive.

The stat
3 –
Al Ahly's 1-0 defeat against Young Africans is only the third time since the start of the Champions League that the defending champion lost their opening game. In 1999 ASEC Mimosas lost 1-0 in Gabon against FC 105 Libreville, while in 2010 TP Mazembe lost by the same score against Rwandan club APR. In both cases the champions managed to overturn the result in the next round.

What they said

"I thought at times we played very well. We scored two goals but we took the foot off the accelerator a wee bit in the second half," Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter after his side beat Mozambican club Liga Muculmana 4-0.

Have your say

Can Flambeau de l'Est from Burundi hold on to their 1-0 lead from the first leg to stun Coton Sport and advance to the second round in their first-ever Champions League appearance.