The Caf Champions League resumed on Saturday night with all eyes falling on Group C as two giants of Africa collided.
Former champions Mamelodi Sundowns took on current holders Wydad Casablanca in what was billed as a grudge match after the Moroccans eliminated the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions in last season’s competition, before going on to lift the crown.
However, despite all that was written and said about Sundowns’ determination, they were unable to exact revenge on their opponents as they played out to a 1-1 draw at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in front of a lively crowd.
Although, Sundowns were without talisman Percy Tau, it was them who drew first blood as early as the third minute of the game after Khama Billiat’s initial effort was saved, Sibusiso Vilakazi would watch on as his low drive across the face of goal was dragged in by the Wydad defender.
But Sundowns’ lead would not last long as Ismail El Haddad would capitalise on a lapse of concentration in the 20th minute of the game, and bury his header past Denis Onyango.
The remainder of the game was a battle of attrition, and while Sundowns did threaten, especially in the second half, they were forced to share the spoils, much to the disappointment of the technical team and fans in Tshwane.
Elsewhere in Group C action, the battle of the Caf Champions League group stage debutants promised much excitement as Horoya travelled to the Togolese capital of Lomé to take on relative unknowns Togo-Port.
Horoya certainly benefited from their previous exploits in the continent’s second tier competition, the Caf Confederation Cup, as they scored deep into the second half to secure the three points.
The Guinean champions opened the scoring in the ninth minute through Daouda Camara, who placed home a shot from close range, before Issifou Bourahana equalised for the Togolese side with a header just after the half-time interval.
But with less than 15 minutes to go in the game at the Stade Général Eyadema, Horoya showed their class as Aboubacar Gal Camara displayed good composure inside the box as he came up with the goods, breaking Togo-Port hearts in the process.
Horoya’s win now means that they top the Group C standings, with Sundowns and Wydad two points behind.
Horoya will next welcome Sundowns to Guinea, while Wydad return home to take on Togo-Port later in the month.