Egypt's Ahly, Zamalek both beaten
© AFP

Orlando Pirates shocked CAF Champions League title-holders Al-Ahly 3-0 in Egypt on Sunday to take the Group A leadership after two rounds.

The South Africans inflicted a record African home loss on the seven-time champions through goals by Thandani Ntshumayelo, Andile Jali and Sifiso Myeni. Walid Soliman had an Ahly penalty saved when they trailed by one goal in El Gouna and Ahmed Abdul Zaher was sent off just before half-time.

Ahly supporters were spared seeing their team out-thought and outfought by the South Africans as the game was played behind closed doors. Zamalek also lost to complete a black day for Egyptian football with Leopards converting a first-half penalty to win 1-0 in Congo Brazzaville.

Defender Mahmoud Fathallah was red carded after handling the ball and Ntela Kalema converted the penalty in western city Dolisie. Pirates and Leopards, who fought a goalless draw in Soweto two weeks ago, share first place with four points each.

But a superior goal difference gives the South African club top place while Zamalek lie third and Ahly prop up the standings. It could get even worse for the Cairo sides as they are away in mid-August with Zamalek visiting Pirates and Ahly travelling to Leopards.

Ahly took an unbeaten 23-match home record in the Champions League group stage since 2002 into the Pirates game.

But they were behind after only 11 minutes in hot, windy conditions as slick passing set up Ntshumayelo to net from close range. Abdul Zaher had a shot cleared off the line before outstanding Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa dived left to block the penalty with one hand.

Ahly frustrations showed deep in first-half stoppage time as Abdul Zaher kicked a South African and was red carded. Meyiwa, who saved two spot kicks in a qualifying win over Democratic Republic of Congo outfit TP Mazembe, made several excellent saves as Ahly pressed for an equaliser.

At the other end of an eerily quiet 10,000-seat stadium, Ahmed Fathy almost conceded an own goal under pressure from substitute Lennox Bacela. A Fathy foul led to a penalty and Jali sent Sherif Ekrami the wrong way to double Pirates' advantage 17 minutes from time.

Just three minutes later came the final blow as Myeni pounced on a lobbed pass, rounded the goalkeeper and tapped the ball into the net. The underside of the crossbar prevented Pirates scoring again as they toyed with the winners of a record 16 CAF titles.

Leopards pounce on penalty
Zamalek, the second most successful Champions League participants with five titles, became the latest victims of giantkillers Leopards.

Fathallah, who had already been yellow carded, handled a close-range shot and Kalema sent Mahmoud Abdul Rahim the wrong way. A second division club just four seasons ago, Leopards defied the odds to lift the second-tier CAF Confederation Cup last year.

And they reached the Champions League group stage at the first attempt after shocking fancied Nigerian and Algerian rivals.