Johannesburg (AFP) – The CAF Champions League group phase kicked off at the weekend with a time-killing Moroccan coming under fire while a Guinean club fielded five starters with the same surname.
A young South African fluffed a chance to star for African giants Al Ahly of Egypt and an Algerian side that had scored a stack of goals in qualifiers ran out of steam.
AFP Sport chooses five matchday 1 talking points from the elite African club competition won by Wydad Casablanca of Morocco last season.
Wydad’s ‘time killer’
Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa coach Pitso Mosimane accused Wydad goalkeeper Yassine el Kharroubi of being a “time killer” after the last two champions drew 1-1 near Pretoria.
One El Kharroubi trick was to advance from his box seemingly to take a free-kick, then change his mind and leave the task to a slow-moving team-mate, wasting close to a minute.
The name game
There were five unrelated footballers with the surname Camara in the Horoya of Guinea starting line-up for a match against Port of Togo, which they won 2-1 in Lome.
Abou Mangue Camara, captain Aboubacar Camara and Alseny Camara fulfilled defensive roles, Abdoulaye Camara operated in midfield and Daouda Camara formed part of a three-man attack.
Rampant Mouloudia stall
After scoring 15 goals at home in two qualifiers, Mouloudia Alger had to settle for just one against Moroccan visitors Difaa el Jadida in a 1-1 stalemate.
Reduced to 10 men owing to an early second-half red card, the Algerians levelled with just eight minutes remaining when Amir Karaoui claimed his second goal of the campaign.
Top of the charts
Hamid Ahaddad scored for Jadida in Algeria to increase his CAF season tally to a chart-topping seven with Hichem Nekkache of Mouloudia his closest rival on six goals.
Last season, the Champions League Golden Boot was shared by Tunisian Taha Yassine Khenissi and Ethiopian Saladin Said with just seven goals each.
Youngster misses the mark
South African Phakamani Mahlambi failed to take advantage of a rare start for record eight-time champions Al Ahly as they were held 0-0 at home by Esperance of Tunisia.
Injuries to Moroccan Walid Azaro and Nigerian Junior Ajayi opened the door for Mahlambi, but he was taken off in the second half having squandered several chances.