Tout Puissant Mazembe and Mamelodi Sundowns were among the big winners in Saturday’s Caf Champions League action, while reigning champions Esperance also got their group stage campaign off to a magnificent start.
Mazembe’s showdown with SC Zamalek was the heavyweight clash of the weekend, although the hosts entirely eclipsed the Egyptian giants with a magnificent second-half performance which leaves Milutin Sredojevic under severe pressure.
Jackson Muleka struck twice, either side of a fine Tresor Mputu goal, after nothing had separated the pair for the first hour of the contest.
The youngster wrapped up the victory six minutes from time as Mazembe sent out a statement that will send ripples across the continent, and took command of Group A in the process.
In the group's other match, ZESCO United secured a valuable point as they held Primeiro de Agosto 1-1 in Luanda.
Clement Mwape’s 16th-minute effort cancelled out Mabululu’s ninth-minute opener, and the Zambian visitors held on to take an admirable draw back to Ndola.
Over in Group C, Mamelodi Sundowns are the early pace-setters after seeing off Petro de Luanda 3-0 in Pretoria.
Mauricio Affonso gave Downs the lead in the seventh minute, before Motjeka Madisha added to their tally before the half-hour mark.
Sphelele Mkhulise killed off the contest in the 79th minute as the Brazilians send an early message to the two North African heavyweights in the group.
USM Alger and Wydad Casablanca traded blows in Blida, although the hosts will rue missing out on all three points after Badie Aouk struck an 89th-minute equaliser for last year’s finalists.
USMA had taken the lead through Abdelkrim Zouari in the fifth minute, and did well to weather the storm, only for a late lapse to deny them two points.
In Group D, reigning champions Esperance secured the biggest win of the weekend as they downed Raja Casablanca 2-0 away.
Anice Badri and Ibrahim Ouattara scored the goals for the Blood and Gold as they moved above JS Kabylie—1-0 victors over AS Vita Club on Friday—with a magnificent away showing that revealed why they remain the favourites to retain their title.