Impressive CAF Champions League victories for Tanzanian clubs

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Tanzanian challengers Young Africans and Simba made impressive starts to the CAF Champions League season with convincing away victories on Saturday in preliminary round first legs.

Young Africans trounced South Sudanese side Zalan Rumbek 4-0 in a match switched to Tanzania because their rivals do not have an international-standard stadium.

Simba, who reached the quarter-finals of the premier African club competition two seasons ago, won 2-0 against Nyasa Big Bullets of Malawi in Lilongwe.

Fiston Mayele from the Democratic Republic of Congo starred for Young Africans with a second-half hat-trick and Feisal Salum was the other scorer.

Zambian Moses Phiri and Tanzanian John Bocco netted either side of half-time for Simba, whose Champions League form has been erratic in recent campaigns.

Simba have gone furthest of any Tanzanian club in the annual competition, reaching the 1974 semi-finals when the competition was called the African Cup of Champions Clubs.

The best performances by Young Africans also came a long time ago as they qualified for the 1969 and 1970 quarter-finals.

Assuming both teams clinch last-32 places after the return matches next weekend, they will face winnable ties in October.

Simba would meet Red Arrows of Zambia or Primeiro Agosto of Angola while next up for Young Africans would be 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 meet in the Ethiopian city of Bahir Dar on Sunday, when 10 of the 25 first legs will be staged.

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.

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