A brilliant Pape Sakho goal set up Simba of Tanzania for a 3-1 win over ASEC Mimosas of the Ivory Coast on Sunday as the CAF Confederation Cup group phase kicked off.
Seeking to become the first Tanzanian club to win a Confederation of African Football competition, Simba were ahead within 12 minutes in Dar es Salaam thanks to the Senegalese winger. A deep cross found Sakho with his back to goal and he executed a bicycle kick that flew into the net before goalkeeper Abdoul Karim Cisse could react.
Burkinabe Stephane Aziz Ki equalised for the Abidjan club on the hour before two goals in as many minutes sealed maximum Group D points for the hosts. Tanzanian Shomari Kapombe converted a 79th-minute penalty and Malawian Peter Banda finished off a cross to seal success.
There were 19 goals in seven matchday 1 games in the African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League and 12 of those came in Group D.
Renaissance Berkane of Morocco, the 2020 Confederation Cup winners, overcame US Gendarmerie Nationale of Niger 5-3 after a seesaw struggle. The home team led 3-0 at half-time, had their advantage trimmed to a single goal, scored twice in three minutes to go 5-2 ahead before the visitors completed the goal fest.
Mourad Fekkak netted twice for Berkane and Victorien Adebayor matched that feat for group debutants Gendarmerie.
In Group B, Thembinkosi Lorch created both goals as 2015 runners-up Orlando Pirates of South Africa defeated JS Saoura of Algeria 2-0 in Soweto. His third-minute free-kick led to goalkeeper Zakaria Saidi fumbling a Goodman Mosele flick and 35-year-old captain Happy Jele forced the ball into the net.
A Lorch pass midway through the second half set Namibian Deon Hotto free and his cross was finished off by Bandile Shandu. Aymen Harzi converted a penalty seven minutes into added time to give record three-time Confederation Cup winners CS Sfaxien of Tunisia a 1-0 win over Zanaco of Zambia in a poor Group A clash in Rades.
A crowd limited to a few thousand by Covid-19 protocols saw endless stoppages for injuries to Zanaco players while Sfaxien struggled to break down the massed defence of the Lusaka outfit.
Pyramids of Egypt, runners-up and semi-finalists in the last two editions, came from behind to beat Al Ahly Tripoli of Libya 2-1 in the same group in Cairo with Moroccan Walid el Karti the match-winner.
TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the equal second most successful club in CAF competitions with 11 titles, edged Congo Brazzaville visitors Otoho Oyo 1-0 in Group C in Lubumbashi. Despite failing to impress, Mazembe top the table, two points ahead of Coton Sport of Cameroon and Al Masry of Egypt, who drew 0-0 in Garoua.