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Sundowns stumble, Kaizer Chiefs win big in Comoros

Mamelodi Sundowns lose 1-0 at Chicken Inn in Zimbabwe and Kaizer Chiefs trounce hosts Volcan 4-0 in the Comoros Island on the opening weekend of the CAF Champions League.

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane

This weekend saw the opening games of this year's edition of the CAF Champions League, African football’s premier club tournament, and there were mixed fortunes for the South African clubs taking part in this, the preliminary round.

Mamelodi Sundowns, in something of a shock result, lost 1-0 at Chicken Inn in Zimbabwe while local rivals Kaizer Chiefs trounced hosts Volcan Club de Moroni 4-0 in the Comoro Islands in the first stage of the two-legged round.

Both clubs are chasing elusive international glory after they crashed out of the same competition in the first round last year.

The Sundowns, known as 'The Brazilians' and owned by mining magnate Patrice Motsepe, will be expected to overturn in a fortnight the 34th minute goal by Mitchelle Katsvairo they conceded to Chicken Inn in Bulawayo.

Pitso Mosimane, coach of the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) leaders, said: 'We failed to catch the rhythm. It was difficult for us, we didn't have the energy to up it up.

'The difficult thing is that we have some injuries, so I decided to rest my important players like Khama (Billiat) and (Keegan) Dolly because we have a long way to go. 1-0 is not bad.'

Things are looking far easier for their home rivals the Kaizer Chiefs, with Volcan needing to overturn that 4-0 deficit, racked up with the help of a brace from South Africa international defender Erick Mathoho. The second leg will be held at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday 27 February.

Barring a sudden, disastrous collapse of epic proportions, Chiefs will zip into the first-round, where a clash against the winners of the match between AS Coton Tchad and Asec Mimosas of the Ivory Coast awaits, to be played on 11 and 18 of March.

The eight teams who make it through the second round of matches will play in the summer's group stages, held in June, July and August, to decide the semi-finalists. The two-legged final will be held on 14 and 21 October, with the winner taking part in the Club World Cup.

Champions Round-up

Angola's Libolo will  fancy their chances of reaching the first round after they trounced Racing Micomseng from Equatorial Guinea 5-1 with Luz Phellipe grabbing a hat-trick. V Club of Congo, Cameroon's Union Douala, Saint George from Ethiopia and Al-Ahli of Libya will also be expected to advance after comfortable first-leg wins. Kenya champions Gor Mahia and Nigeria's Enyimba suffered shock losses to CNaPS of Madagascar and SC Vipers of Uganda. Experienced campaigners Gor Mahia fell 2-1 at home in Nairobi, while two-time African champions Enyimba failed to convert several clear-cut chances in the first half and paid dearly for that when they were beaten by a 73rd minute winner for the first-timers by Erisa Ssekisambu. The pressure will be on 'People's Elephant' Enyimba to win in the second leg in the southern Nigerian city of Port Harcourt so as to stay alive in the competition. 'I believe we will advance to the next round. In the next game, we will have our full squad and play differently from how we did. It is not over for us,' said Enyimba coach Paul Aigbogun. Nigeria's Warri Wolves and Ferrovairo Maputo from Mozambique enjoyed walkovers at the expense of Sporting Praia Cruz from Sao Tome and Principe and Centre Chiefs of Botswana, respectively. Scores Friday, 12 February 2016 Vipers (Uganda) 1-0 Enyimba (Nigeria) OC Khouribga (Morocco) 2-1 Gamtel (Gambia) 
Saturday, 13 February 2016 Chicken Inn (Zimbabwe) 1-0 Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa) Gor Mahia (Kenya) 1-2 CNaPS Sport (Madagascar) Cercle Joachim (Mauritius) 0-1 Young Africans (Tanzania) Mafunzo (Zanzibar) 0-3 AS Vita (DR Congo) Recreativo Libolo (Angola) 5-1 Micomeseng (Equatorial Guinea) Mangasport (Gabon) 0-0 Etoile du Congo Stade Malien (Mali) 3-1 RC Bobo Dioulasso (Burkina Faso) AS Douanes (Senegal) 0-0 Horoya (Guinea) Sunday, 14 February 2016 Wydad Athletic Club (Morocco) 2-0 AS Douanes (Niger) St George (Ethiopia) 3-0 St Michel United (Seychelles) Lioli FC (Lesotho) 1-2 Vital’O (Burundi) Zesco (Zambia) 2-0 Al Ghazala (South Sudan) Mbabane Swallows (Swaziland) 1-0 APR (Rwanda) Volcan Moroni (Comoros) 0-4 Kaizer Chiefs (South Africa) AS Cotontchad (Chad) 0-1 ASEC Mimosas (Cote d’Ivoire) Onze Createurs (Mali) 1-2 Ahly Tripoli (Libya) Nimba United (Liberia) 1-3 Union Douala (Cameroon) Club Africain (Tunisia) 2-0 AS Tanda (Cote d’Ivoire) AshantiGold (Ghana) 1-0 MO Bejaia (Algeria) *Mochudi Chiefs (Botswana) vs Ferroviario Maputo (Mozambique) Warri Wolves (Nigeria) vs *Praia Cruz (Sao Tome e Principe) Wolves will play Al Merriekh of Sudan in the first round and Ferrovairo face the winners between AS Vita Club of DR Congo and Mafunzo from Zanzibar.