Africa: Holders Wydad Shocked By Rivers in TotalEnergies CAF Champions League Group Stage Battle

Defending champions Wydad Athletic Club and Tunisia’s Espérance de Tunis were handed shock defeats in Nigeria in the first leg of the second preliminary round matches of the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League matches played over the weekend.

Both sides suffered 2-1 defeats in West Africa and are now in tricky situations heading into the return leg at home next weekend.

Wydad were handed a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Rivers United who had to come from behind in Port Harcourt. Sambou Junior had given Wydad a 32nd minute lead but it lasted only three minutes as Malachi Owahuma levelled before Ghanaian Paul Acquah scored the winner in the second half.

CR Belouizdad also suffered a similar defeat in West Africa, going down to Mali’s Djoliba. Oumar Camara and Djibril Coulibaly scored in between Mohamed Belkhir’s equalizer, leaving the Algerians with a tough task in the return leg next weekend.

Meanwhile at the New Jos Stadium, Esperance suffered a similar defeat at the hands of Plateau United, with the game also following a similar script.

Anice Badri had given Esperance the lead after 28 minutes, bur the home side equalized through Emmanuel Uchegu in the 35th minute and Mustapha Yuga scored the winner at the stroke of halftime.

The two North Africa giants must now win their second leg matches at home this weekend, to earn a place in the group stages of the competition.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s 2016 champions Mamelodi Sundowns and Tanzanian giants Simba SC were some of the biggest winners from the weekend’s first leg matches.