What you need to know:
- Yanga trounced Zalan Rumbek 4-0 in a match that was switched to Dar es Salaam, while Simba defeated Nyasa Big Bullets of Malawi 2-0 in Lilongwe
Dar es Salaam. Tanzania’s representatives Young Africans and Simba SC made a flying start in the 2022/23 CAF Champions League with convincing away victories on Saturday in preliminary round, first leg matches.
Yanga trounced Zalan Rumbek 4-0 in a match that was switched to Dar es Salaam because South Sudan does not have an international-standard stadium.
Simba, who reached the quarter-finals of the premier African club competition two seasons ago, beat Nyasa Big Bullets of Malawi 2-0 in Lilongwe.
Congolese striker Fiston Mayele grabbed a second-half hat-trick for Yanga in Dar es Salaam. Feisal Salum was also on the mark for the Tanzania Mainland champions.
In Lilongwe, Moses Phiri and John Bocco netted on either side of half-time for Simba, whose Champions League form has been erratic in recent campaigns.
Simba have gone farthest of any Tanzanian club in the annual competition, reaching the 1974 semi-finals when the competition was known as the African Cup of Champions.
Yanga’s best performance in the competition was when as they reached the 1969 and 1970 quarter-finals.
Assuming both teams reach the last 32 after next weekend’s return matches, they will face winnable fixtures in October.
While Simba will meet Red Arrows of Zambia or Primeiro Agosto of Angola, Young Africans will take on either Saint George of Ethiopia or Al Hilal of Sudan.
Primeiro established a potentially decisive advantage over Arrows by winning 1-0 in Lusaka, thanks to an early goal from Ambrozini Salvador.
Saint George and Hilal were due to meet in the Ethiopian city of Bahir Dar in one of the ten preliminary round, first leg matches scheduled for yesterday.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Cape Town City shrugged off modest early South African season form to win 2-0 at home against AS Otoho of Congo Brazzaville.
While Otoho were making a sixth consecutive appearance in the marquee African club competition, it was the first time Cape Town have competed in the Champions League.
The goals came within eight minutes of each other early in the second half through Taahir Goedeman and Mark van Heerden.
Plateau United, hoping to become only the second African champions from Nigeria after 2003 and 2004 winners Enyimba, drew 2-2 with Stade Mandji of Gabon in Franceville.
While the Nigerians will be happy to have claimed two away goals, they did surrender the lead twice during a first half when all the goals were scored.
A 0-0 or 1-1 second-leg draw in Abuja will suffice to book Plateau a last-32 showdown with four-time Champions League winners Esperance of Tunisia.