CAF Champions League Review: Simba roar to victory, Al Ahly cruise
Last season's beaten CAF Champions League finalists Al Ahly began their 2019 group campaign with a comfortable 2-0 win over Vita Club, while Simba roared to a 3-0 victory over Saoura after a long hiatus from the competition.
Egyptian giants Al Ahly were frustrated for just over an hour by their visitors, despite Vita having Dharles Kalonji sent off in the 34th minute for a foul on Ramadan Sobhi.
But Nasser Maher – introduced early in the second half for the injured Marwan Mohsen – finally made the breakthrough, steering home from a Mohamed Hany cutback with 65 minutes played, and Ali Maaloul completed the scoring late on from the penalty spot.
Tanzanian club Simba, in the competition for the first time since 2003, got off to a flying start at home in Dar es Salaam, brushing Saoura of Algeria aside with ease in the other Group D clash.
— CAF (@CAF_Online) January 12, 2019
Emmanuel Okwi gave them the lead just before the break, with a Meddie Kagere brace in the second half wrapping things up for the Lions.
Five-time champions TP Mazembe also began in victorious fashion, beating Ismaily 2-0 despite having goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo sent off on the stroke of half-time.
The Ivorian was given his marching orders for bringing Benson Shilongo down in the area, but substitute goalkeeper Aime Bakula kept the spot-kick out and two goals in the final seven minutes from Chico Ushindi and Kevin Mondeko secured victory in Mazembe's Group C opener.
In the only Group B match of the day, Orlando Pirates left Platinum with a 0-0 draw, meaning both clubs are level on one point with holders ES Tunis and Horoya.