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Mamelodi Sundowns lose in Congo

South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns lost 2-1 in Congo Brazzaville to AS Otoho in a preliminary round first leg tie in the African Champions League.

Sundowns were among five former African Champions to lose away this weekend.

Ghana’s Asante Kotoko, Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel, Nigeria’s Enyimba and South Africa’s Orlando Pirates will also have to overturn first leg deficits if they are to progress.

The second legs are set to be played on the weekend of August 23-25.

AS Otoho took an early lead when Alex Nganou scored from the penalty spot after 10 minutes.

Fousseini Yacoubou doubled the lead on the half-hour mark and things got worse for Sundowns when Captain Hlompho Kekana was sent off before half-time.

Sundowns stabilised after half-time and snatched a potentially precious away goal 15 minutes from time through Thapelo Morena.

Asante Kotoko, whose last of two titles came 36 years ago, trailed and led Kano Pillars of Nigeria before suffering a 3-2 defeat in Kaduna.

Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia went down 2-1 away to fellow former champions Hafia of Guinea after taking a first-minute lead through Karim Aribi in Conakry.

Twice champions Enyimba of Nigeria and 1995 trophy-holders Orlando Pirates of South Africa both lost 1-0 to Champions League debutants.

An Issouf Zonon goal 30 minutes into the first half earned Rahimo of Burkina Faso victory over 2003 and 2004 champions Enyimba in Ouagadougou.

Pirates could not find an antidote to the counterattacking of Green Eagles of Zambia in Lusaka and an early second half goal from Spencer Sautu decided the outcome.

Record eight-time champions Al Ahly cruised to a 3-0 win against Atlabara of South Sudan, who was forced to move their home fixture to Egypt because the national stadium in Juba is being renovated. –BBC

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