2019 CAF Champions League Match Day 2: Big wins and giant killings by some debutants

In the CAF Champions League, there are big wins and even bigger wins, Orlando Pirates had the biggest win of matchday 2, taking down Horoya AC 3-0 in their second group stage encounter. The win levelled the Buccaneers with defending champions Esperance de Tunis at the top of Group B, as the latter also collected three points from their 2-0 win against Zimbabwean champions, FC Platinum.

After Friday’s performance, Pirates look in form for a title chase. Speaking in the aftermath of Friday’s win, head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic expressed his desire to take the title  this year, but he isn’t putting pressure on his players.

There is a dream to put a second star here, however,...when you put weight of pressure on your players, that moment legs are locked and they are not themselves and not enjoying the football.
— Milutin "Micho" Sredojevic, Orlando Pirates Coach

It certainly looks like his players are coping well with the pressure of Africa’s biggest stage and are obviously flying high enough for any challenge.

Meanwhile, Al Ahly were held to a 1-1 draw by JS Saoura away in Algeria on Friday while Club Africain registered another win away in Egypt, beating Ismaily 2-1. Namibian striker Benson Shilongo opened the scoring Ismaily with a powerful strike inside the Club Africain box. Two penalties against Ismaily changed the trajectory of the encounter in favour of the Tunisian side. The stadium descended into chaos after the second penalty which had been initially been flagged as a free kick for a foul just outside the box. CAF is currently deciding on the fate of Ismaily after their supporters disrupted play causing the match to be abandoned.

Sahel's striker Amro Marai (L) vies for the ball with Ahly's Hisham Mohamed (R) during the CAF Champions League semi-final football match between Etoile Sahel vs Al-Ahly at the Olympic Stadium in Sousse on October 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SALAH HABIBI  (Sept. 30, 2017 - Source: AFP)

Sahel's striker Amro Marai (L) vies for the ball with Ahly's Hisham Mohamed (R) during the CAF Champions League semi-final football match between Etoile Sahel vs Al-Ahly at the Olympic Stadium in Sousse on October 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SALAH HABIBI

(Sept. 30, 2017 - Source: AFP)

Congolese club AS Vita put out an impressive showing crushing their Tanzanian rivals, Simba Sports Club, 5-0. TP Mazembe however fell 3-0 to CS Constantine, which was nothing short of a surprise for the five-time champions. Despite the Mazembe goalie pulling off many saves in the first half, the Algerians’ persistence finally paid off in the 51st minute with a strike from Houcine Benayada. Debutants, CS Constantine have been a class act, securing 2 straight wins in 2 matches which leaves them at the top of Group C ahead of Club Africain and TP Mazembe.

Down South, Mamelodi Sundowns enjoyed a much better outcome for their efforts against Wydad Athletic Club. The 2-1 victory for the South Africans was crucial after a loss against Nigeria’s Lobi Stars in their first group stage encounter. Lobi Stars lost to ASEC Mimosas, with the Ivorians edging their West African counterparts, 1-0 in Abidjan.

Matchday 3 fixtures: CS Constantine taking on Ismaily and Orlando Pirates’ meeting with ES Tunis, are two fixtures that will probably have the most to look out for based on last weekend’s fixtures. FC Platinum will face off against Horoya, both teams in desperate need of a victory to keep their Champions League hopes alive. Mamelodi Sundowns will be hoping for another win when they face ASEC Mimosa on Friday as they search for an elusive second continental title.