The first round of the 2018-19 CAF Champions League group stage was played over the weekend with all 16 club teams playing their first group game.
Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca of William Jebor grabbed a win, but Jebor did not get any playing time.
Without Jebor playing a single minute, Wydad Casablanca began with a huge 5-2 win at home over ASEC Mimosas of Ivory Coast. The former Rio Ave striker watched from the bench as goals from Moroccans, Zouheir El Moutaraji, Walid El Karti, Badi Aouk, Ismail El Haddad, and Ivorian striker Cheick Comara helped Wydad grabbed the huge victory over ASEC Mimosas.
While Jebor watched from the bench in Morocco, his fellow Liberian international, Anthony Laffor of South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns, was in action on the pitch in Nigeria against the Lobi Stars. The towering Liberian forward continued his perfect form of the season with his third goal in three consecutive games. However, he was unable to prevent his beloved Mamelodi Sundowns from losing all three points away from home.
A beautiful start to the match saw Laffor getting the Sundowns ahead in the 38th minute through an assist from Uruguayan attacker Leandro Sirino. However, the Nigerians got the score leveled in the stoppage time of the first half from the penalty spot through Ivorian striker Yaya Kone. Kone evened the score and the two teams headed to the break with a goal each.
Back from the break, the Lobi Stars mounted pressure and got the lead for the first time in the match, just six minutes into the second half. Nigerian midfielder Mathias Martins got the goal in the 52nd minute, which the Sundowns were unable to match until the end of the match. The defeat continued the Sundowns’ poor form away from home. The Brazilians have won just once from their last eight games in the CAF Champions League.
The Sundowns will go in search of their first win in the 2018-19 CAF Champions League on Saturday, January 19 when they host William Jebor’s Wydad Casablanca.
Featured photo by T. Kla Wesley Jr.