East African sides Young Africans (Yanga) and Vipers SC were among the biggest away winners as the 2022-23 season of the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League kicked off this weekend with the first leg matches of the first preliminary round.
Yanga were playing South Sudan’s Zalan Rumbek in Dar es Salaam, their home turf, as the latter didn’t have an approved home ground back in Juba.
They made the most of their home away from home feel, Fiston Mayele scoring a hattrick and Feisal Salum adding another as they won 4-0 ahead of next weekend’s return tie.
Meanwhile in Congo Brazzaville where Central Africa’s Olympic Real de Bangui were hosting their home match, Uganda’s Vipers edged out with a massive 3-0 away victory with goals from new signings Abdu Lumala and Isa Mubiru as well as a third from Najib Yiga.
Cameroonian champions Coton Sport also picked up a huge away win, beating Lesotho’s Matlama 3-0 in Maseru with goals from Brandon Yves Eno, Souaibou Marou and David Kokolome.
In Maputo, Petro de Luanda who reached the semis of last season’s Champions League edged out home side Black Bulls 3-0 courtesy of second half goals from skipper Tiago Azulao, Anderson Cruz and Pedro Pinto.
Another team to pick up a healthy away win was Tanzania’s Simba SC who won 2-0 against Nyasa Big Bullets of Malawi.
Meanwhile, Casa Sports of Senegal managed a 1-0 win over Algerian outfit JS Kabylie in a massive result heading into the return tie. Botswana’s Gaborone United also picked up a slim victory over a tough opponent, Thero Setsile’s 35th minute goal handing them a 1-0 victory over AS Vita Club of DR Congo.
Nigeria’s Rivers United also earned a healthy win at home in the first leg, edging out Liberia’s Watanga 3-0.
Burundian debutants Flambeau du Centre meanwhile beat last season’s TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup semi-finalists Al Ittihad of Libya 1-0 at home while Rwanda’s APR had a similar result against Tunisia’s US Monastir in Huye.
The second leg matches are scheduled to be played next weekend, with aggregate winners sailing to the second preliminary round.