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African Football League: Losing Start for Gallant Enyimba In Uyo; TP Mazambe & Sundowns Record Wins

October, 23 2023.

Nigeria's Enyimba of Aba began their quest for honour and the hefty prize money on offer in the inaugural edition of the newly inaugurated African Football League (AFL), on a rather disappointing note; losing 0-1 at home to one of Africa's finest elite club-sides of the moment, Wydad Athletic Casablanca of Morocco, at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, in Uyo, on Sunday.

In a fixture, the twice African Champions surprisingly matched the visitors in virtually all the stats, it was midfielder Yahya Jabrane who got the only goal in the 39th minute from the penalty spot; as the reigning NPFL champions paid the prize for wayward shooting, as only 1 of their 20 shots at goal, was on target.

The Aba People's Elephant, tutored by Super Eagles legend Finidi George would however be consoled that aside the goal, Wydad Athletic, African Champions in 2021 and Vice-Champions in 2022 did not outplay them; and that should be the motivation going into the decisive leg of the quarterfinal duel, on Wednesday, October 25, 2023; in Casablanca.

In Sunday's only other game in the AFL, 19-year-old Malian attacker, scored the only goal in the 11th minute; as Tout Puissant Mazembe of the DR Congo edged Experence du Tunis of Tunisia, in Lubumbashi; to set up a potentially explosive second leg in Tunis, on Wednesday.

On Saturday, South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns earned a crucial 2-0 first leg victory away to Petro Atletico of Angola in their African Football League (AFL) first leg, quarter-final fixture.

Second half goals from Marcelo Allende and Gift Maseko gave Sundowns a commanding advantage to take back home for the second leg.

Their win, which also avenged last season's Champions League exit to Petro and put Sundowns, aka the Brazilians on the brink of a semi-final spot.

The Africa Football League burst into life with a spectacular opening ceremony in Der es Salaam, Tanzania on Friday; at a sellout 60,000 sell-out Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, where the crowd were treated to a thrilling curtain-raiser before the AFL got underway.

Celebrated Tanzanian musician Ali Kiba had the packed venue in raptures with a passionate performance of his hit song Sumu to kick off proceedings; and the high-energy show was accompanied by dazzling choreographed dancers and traditional performers dressed in vibrant attire.

Among the enthralled spectators were Tanzanian President Hussein Ali Mwinyi who promised a goal for each goal scored by Simba SC, CAF President Dr. Patrice Motsepe and FIFA boss Gianni Infantino.

Both Motsepe and Infantino addressed the joyous crowd to express their delight at Tanzania hosting the historic first AFL match, which ended all square as Tanzania's Simba fought back to hold Egyptian giants Al Ahly SC of Cairo 2-2 on Friday; reports.

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