Away wins for Simba and Raja; draws for Sundowns and Esperance; Hearts of Oak downs Wydad

2021 CAF Champions League - Jwaneng Galaxy v Simba3

The first leg matches of the 2021-22 TotalEnergies CAF Champions League Second Preliminary Round were concluded on Sunday.

Tanzania’s Simba and Morocco’s Raja recorded valuable away wins, while South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundwons and Tunisia’s Esperance returned home with a draw. Ghana’s returning giants Hearts of Oak defeated Morocco’s Wydad in Accra. Mauritania’s Nouadhibou had the shock of the day, beating Algeria’s ES Setif 3-1 in Nouakchott.

The return legs take part next weekend.

2021 CAF Champions League - Jwaneng Galaxy v Simba4

Jwaneng Galaxy 0-2 Simba

Tanzanian giants Simba put one leg into the group stage, after returning from Gaborone with a 2-0 away won over Botswana champions Jwaneng Galaxy.

John Bocco scored twice in the opening minutes to give Simba a valuable away win. Bocco opened the score as early as the second minute, before doubling Simba’s lead after just six minutes.

The return leg takes takes place next weekend in Dar Es Salaam.

Photos @SimbaSCTanzania

AS Maniema Union 2-2 Mamelodi Sundowns

DR Congo’s AS Maniema Union returned from behind twice to hold South Africa giants Mamelodi Sundowns to a 2-2 draw in Kinshasa.

Themba Zwane broke the deadlock for Sundowns after 9 minutes, but for Kitwa Kalowa to restore parity ten minutes from the break as the first half ended 1-1.

Zwane thought he handed Sundowns an away win when he scored his second goal of the day after 84 minutes. But Tenda Mutuila scored a late equalizer for the hosts with just two minutes remaining on the clock.

Sundowns will try to secure their group stage place at home in Pretoria next weekend.

Nouadhibou 3-1 ES Setif

Mauritanian champions Nouadhibou came back from behind to stun Algeria’s ES Setif 3-1 in Nouakchott.

Abderrahim Demghoum gave Setif the lead four mintes before halftime, as the visitors went to the break leading 1-0.

But Nouadhibou returned stronger and before the hour mark they were 3-1 up. Moulaye Ahmed Bessam equalized at the 54th minute, and three minutes later Cheikh Moulaye Ahmed made it 2-1 for the hosts.

Immediately after, it became 3-1 when Hemeya Tanjy scored the hosts third in style. Setif had to end the game with ten men after Riad Benayad was shown the red card deep into injury time.

Setif who lost 3-0 away in the First Preliminary Round to Gambia’s Fortune before responding to win with the same margin and qualify on penalties will look for another comeback at home next weekend.

AS Otoho 2-2 Petro de Luanda

In Brazzaville, Angola’s Petro de Luanda scored six minutes into injury time to snatch an away 2-2 draw to Congo’s AS Otoho.

After a goalless first half, Nkaya Wilfrid opened the score for Otoho after 61 minutes, and Roland Okouri doubled the hosts’ lead at the 74th minute.

But Petro responded to reduce the deficit seven minutes from time through Gleison. And as late as the 96th minute, Vidinho snatched the equalizer for the Angolans to hold Otoho to a precious away draw.

2021 CAF Champions League - Hearts of Oak v Wydad Casablanca

Hearts of Oak 1-0 Wydad

Ghanaian Hearts of Oak had a day to remember, beating two-time African champions and Morocco’s giants Wydad 1-0 in Accra.

Isaac Mensah scored what proved to be the game’s lone goal four minutes before halftime as Hearts of Oak will travel north hoping to defend their slim lead.

LPRC Oilers 0-2 Raja

Morocco’s Raja recorded a vital away 2-0 victory over Liberia LPRC Oilers to move closer to the group stage.

Raja were considered visitors despite playing less than 90 Kilometers away from their base in Casablanca, as LPRC Oilers hosted the game in Moroccan capital Rabat.

Houssine Rahimi put Raja ahead after 23 minutes, and Mahmoud Benhalib doubled the Green Eagles lead on the brink of halftime as Raja held on the result till the end.

2021 CAF Champions League - Rivers United v Al Hilal1

Rivers United 1-1 Al Hilal

Sudanese giants Al Hilal returned from Port Harcourt with an away 1-1 draw with Nigeria’s Rivers United.

Mohamed AbdelRahman put the visitors ahead after 35 minutes, but his teammate Mohamed Saeed Ahmed gifted the hosts the equalizer after 69 minutes scoring in his own net.

Al Hilal will receive Rivers next weekend in Suez, Egypt with a place in the group stage at stake.

Photo @AlHilalSC_

Al Ittihad 0-0 Esperance

In Benghazi, there was no much action as Libya’s Al Ittihad and Tunisia’s Esperance played to a goalless draw at the Benina Martyrs stadium.

There were rare chances for both sides, as four-time champions Esperance will try to make use of playing home at Rades next weekend to continue their Champions League adventure.