Ismaily returned to the Caf Champions League for the first time in eight years in a positive fashion with a 1-0 away win over Burundi-side Le Massager on Wednesday.
Defender Tarek Taha grabbed the all-important goal for the Egyptians, who now carry an advantage heading into the second leg in Ismailia next week.
Taha found the back of the net from a powerfully taken free-kick in the 56th minute.
The win saw Ismaily making themselves favourites to proceed to the round of 32.
Also making a return to the Champions League in style were Zambian giants Nkana who claimed a 2-1 win away at Mozambican champions UD Songo.
Harrison Chisala and Festus Mbewe scored in either half for Nkana to inspire the Kitwe-based side to victory.
Sunday Awasa though, grabbed Songo a consolation goal in stoppage time as the hosts looked to exploit Nkana’s numerical disadvantage.
Furthermore, Kenyan midfielder Duncan Otieno was shown a red card a minute before full time but Nkana held on for the crucial victory over Songo, who participated in the Champions League group stages last season.
While Nkana were making waves in the coastal city of Beira, another Zambian, Clatous Chama was roaring in Dar-es-Salaam, helping Simba beat Mbabane Swallows 4-1.
Chama scored Simba’s fourth goal after John Bocco grabbed a brace and Meddie Kagere was also on target.
Swallows joined Songo as another side to have participated in last season's group stage only to suffer defeat in the first leg of the preliminary round fixtures.
The team from eSwatini got their consolation through Gabonese defender Stevy Nzambe.
In Luanda, last season’s semifinalists Primiero Agosto survived a tricky clash when AS Otoho from Congo Brazzaville raced ahead 2-0 through Cabwey Kivutuka and Konte Mandala, but the Angolans clawed their way back to win 4-2.
Geraldo led the comeback with a brace while the DR Congo pair of Mongo Bokamba and Jacques Bitumbe added the other two goals.
It was a near-upset that could inspire AS Otoho to take advantage of two away goals in the return leg.
Elsewhere, an early goal from Abdoul Tapsoba was all that former African champions Asec Mimosas needed to see off Gabonese champions Mangasport 1-0 in Abidjan.
Tapsoba scored as early as the sixth minute to decide the contest. Meanwhile, Zimbabwean champions FC Platinum had to thank Edwin Madhanhanga for a late strike that salvaged a 1-1 draw against CNaPS in the Madagascan capital of Antananarivo.
CNaPS captain Andoniaina Andrianavalona thrust his side ahead but a spirited effort for an equalizer by FC Platinum saw the match end in a stalemate.
The Zimbabwean's have never reached the group stages of the Caf Champions League in two previous attempts and are seeking to finally get it right this time around.