Matchday 2 may have just given us a peek at who the favourites for the CAF Champions League will be. Three teams maintained their 100% records. We also have two teams still unable to muster a result despite playing away and home.
Read on for the full breakdown of matchday 2.
1. All about that brace
Etoile Sahel’s Karim Aribi got himself 7 goals before the group phase. Then, on matchday 2 he scored a brace against Platinum FC to take his tally to an incredible 9. We could be looking at a record breaking season.
He was not the only one to score a brace. Achraf Bencharki had one brilliant goal in his. Jackson Muleka went one better and scored two spectacular goals for TP Mazembe.
2. Three teams on their way to quarterfinal
There is a good argument that a few clubs are practically through to the quarterfinal. Etoile Sahel, TP Mazembe and Esperance Tunis still have a 100% record
What is in their favour is that they have already played the, so called, tougher matches in their respective groups. Etoile did well to beat Ahly, Mazembe thrashed Zamalek then got a win in Ndola. Finally, Esperance have not conceded against either Raja Casablanca or JS Kabylie. The trio next face back-to-back matches against the “weakest” sides of their groups – sorry Al Hilal, you’re not too much of a step up from Platinum FC.
3. Bad Company
Are we allowed to complain if groups have whipping boys? We wanted the CAFCL group stage expanded after all. You are going to have a few weak teams sneak in among the elite from time to time. Platinum FC, in group B, are demonstrating this. The side has 0 points and suffered a 3-0 home loss this past weekend. They next play Al Ahly.
Vita Club is more of a surprise. Of course, this team is not the one that reached the final in 2014. But failure to get anything at home to Raja Casablanca should be a big deal. The Kinshasa team has not even scored a goal.
4. Don’t count out the Egyptians
We have been too distracted by the renaissance of Morocco that we have forgotten who the real top dogs of African football are. It is the Egyptians. Al Ahly and Zamalek lost on opening day despite having the most expensive squads in the tournament.
They recovered this time round, albeit against weaker opponents, with comfortable home wins. We now hope this will give them momentum. Us fans are hoping that the Cairo Derby will be the first time two teams from the same country meet in the CAF Champions League final.