Perfect starts for Esperance, Etoile and Mazembe

CL ranking

Tunisian holders Esperance, compatriots Etoile du Sahel and DR Congo giants TP Mazembe made it two victories in two group matches, to continue their perfect start to the 2019-20 Total CAF Champions League campaign, as Match Day 2 concluded on Saturday.

Egyptian duet Zamalek and Ahly had their first victory to revive hopes, while Morocco’s Raja ended a famous long unbeaten streak for Congolese AS Vita. A barren stalemate decided the top clash between Morocco’s Wydad and South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns.

Group A

Jackson Muleka continued from where he stopped in the opening match day, and added another brace this time away from home to guide DR Congo’s TP Mazembe to a 2-1 victory over Zambian hosts Zesco United. Muleka who scored a brace in the home 3-0 victory over Zamalek left the pitch injured, just after Winston Kalengo reduced the deficit for the hosts.

In Cairo, French coach Patrice Carteron opened his account with Egypt’s Zamalek with a home 2-0 victory over Angola’s Primeiro de Agosto. Carteron who guided the likes of Mazembe, Al Ahly and Raja Casablanca had his first in charge of the White Knights ending on a high note, with Moroccan import Achraf Bencharki grabbing both goals.

As it stands

1. TP Mazembe – 6 points

2. Zamalek – 3 points

3. Zesco United – 1 point

4. Primeiro de Agosto – 1 point

What’s next?

27/28.12.2019 Ndola Zesco United – Zamalek

27/28.12.2019 Luanda Primeiro de Agosto – TP Mazembe

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Group B

Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel made it two wins out of two when they proved too strong for Zimbabwean hosts Platinum. Karim Aribi raised his 2019-20 CAF Champions League tally to nine goals, as he grabbed himself a brace in Bulawayo, with Hazem Haj Hassan putting the cherry on top of the cake in injury time. It was the second successive defeat for Platinum.

In Cairo, record Champions Al Ahly of Egypt saw their campaign back on the track, after defeating Sudan’s Al Hilal 2-1. Hussein Elshahat and Ramadan Sobhi scored in the first half of a game dominated by the Red Devils. But lack of concentration in the dying minutes allowed Athar Attahir to resuce the deficit for Hilal.

As it stands

1. Etoile du Sahel – 6 points

2. Al Ahly – 3 points

3. Al Hilal – 3 points

4. Platinum – 0 points

What’s next?

27/28.12.2019 Cairo Al Ahly - Platinum

27/28.12.2019 Rades Etoile du Sahel – Al Hilal

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Group C

It was all square in both group matches that produced no winner; no loser. A barren stalemate decided the former champions’ clash between Morocco’s Wydad and South Africa’s Mamelodi Sudowns in front of packed stands in Casablanca. Both sides had their chances to win but without finding the final touch.

Algeria’s USM Alger returned from Luanda with a point, after a 1-1 draw with Angolan hosts Petro de Luanda. Mohamed Benchaa gave the vicitors the lead after the break, only for Brazilian import Toni to restore parity shortly afterwards. It was USMA’s second draw in as many matches, while Petro bagged their first group point.

As it stands

1. Mamelodi Sundowns – 4 points

2. USM Alger – 2 points

3. Wydad – 2 points

4. Petro de Luanda – 1 point

What’s next?

27/28.12.2019 Casablanca Wydad – Petro de Luanda

27/28.12.2019 Blida USM Alger – Mamelodi Sundowns

Petro USMA 233

Group D

Holders Esperance continued their winning streak, defeating Algerian neighbors JS Kabylie 1-0 in Rades. Anice Badri scored for the second match running, netting from the spot as last two editions champions continued their successful title defense campaign with 100% record.

In Kinshasa, Morocco’s Raja put an end to DR Congo’s AS Vita long unbeaten home run, managing a famous away 1-0 victory to get their campaign back on the track. Soufiane Rahimi scored to give Raja a win that stopped a series of 44 games without defeat for Vita at their Kinshasa fortress.

As it stands

1. Esperance – 6 points

2. JS Kabylie – 3 points

3. Raja – 3 points

4. AS Vita – 0 points

What’s next?

27/28.12.2019 Rades Esperance – AS Vita

27/28.12.2019 Casablanca Raja – JS Kabylie

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