Matchday 3 of the Group Stage of the CAF Champions League 2021 have just wrapped up, bringing an end to the first half of the first round of Africa’s biggest club competition.
The 3rd round of games saw a few surprises again as Al Ahly, Zamalek and TP Mazembe, all dropped points.
Al Ahly dominant but failed to secure the win
The biggest surprise was Al Ahly as the semifinalists of the FIFA Club World Cup, failed to pick up 3 points once again as they drew 2-2 against DR Congo’s AS Vita Club at the Cairo International Stadium in Egypt.
Glody Makabi Lilepo opened the scoring for the away side in the 41st minute but Mohamed Sherif and Marwan Mohsen scored 2 goals in 2 minutes in the second half to give the hosts the lead.
Ricky Tulengi spoiled the Egyptian party, however, as he scored from the spot after the visitors were awarded a penalty in the 80th minute.
It was a frustrating outing for the Egyptian champions who were the better side. They had an overwhelming 29 attempts on goal with 13 finding the target. They also dominant possession having 69% of the ball!
The penalty cost them 3 points and they now stay 3rd in Group A with 4 points, tied with AS Vita Club. The good news for the side, however is that Al-Merrikh managed to secure a draw with group leaders – Simba, which now keeps them just 3 points ahead of them.
3 games are enough for Pitso Mosimane to turn Al Ahly’s fortunes and secure a place in the knockout stages of the competition.
Zamalek lose in all-important
Al Ahly’s Egyptian rivals – Zamalek are in deep waters as they suffered a defeat against ES Tunis from Tunisia. The Egyptian club was outclassed by the Tunisian giants who now sit on top with 7 points in 3 games.
Zamalek have failed to win a game in the group stage so far and will need to do so in the return fixtures to have any chance of qualifying for the knockouts.
The club currently sits in 3rd with 2 points. MC Alger currently occupies the 2nd spot in Group D with 5 points so Tunis and Alger are in the driver’s seat to make it through to the next round.
TP Mazembe lose to South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns
DR Congo’s Linafoot leaders TP Mazembe were defeated 2-1 by South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns who made it 3 wins in 3 to pretty much secure their place in the last 8 of the CAF Champions League from Group B.
The other teams in the group are all on 2 points each so it will be a 3-way battle for the 2nd spot in the group that features Al-Hilal and CR Belouizdad as well.
Wydad stay perfect
Moroccan side Wydad AC continued their red-hot form with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Guinean champions Horoya.
Wydad joins the Sundowns as the only other team to be perfect in the group stage of the CAF Champions League.
Horoya’s loss meant that they could not close the gap on Wydad and it keeps them in 2nd, level on points with South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs on 4. Horoya’s goal difference is what pips them ahead at the moment.
There is all to play for in the 2nd half of fixtures and the game between the 2 sides will mostly determine who makes it through to the knockouts.
The CAF Champions League is seeing some surprises so far but expect the big guns to turn things around in the 2nd round of fixtures of the group stage.