South African Lakay scores Pyramids’ winner in Egypt

Pyramids are playing in the elite African competition for the first time.

South African Fagrie Lakay scored to give Pyramids of Egypt a 1-0 win over TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday in the first 2024 CAF Champions League group match.

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When the ball was crossed from the right wing on 54 minutes, Fiston Mayele chested it back to Lakay, who unleashed a low shot that flew past goalkeeper Alioune Faty into the corner.

Senegalese Faty was deputising for injured first choice Baggio Siadi, and Mazembe defender Kevin Mondeko was also ruled out of the Group A clash in Cairo.

Pyramids, who have lived in the shadows of more successful and popular Cairo neighbours Al Ahly and Zamalek for many seasons, are playing in the elite African competition for the first time.

Mazembe, five times winners of the Champions League, were returning to group action after being eliminated at the qualifying stage in the past two seasons.

The other Group A fixture between Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa and Nouadhibou of Mauritania, originally scheduled for Friday in Pretoria, has been moved to Sunday.

Sundowns, recent winners of the inaugural African Football League, are expected to win the group with Pyramids and Mazembe fighting to finish second and also qualify for the knockout phase.

Later on Friday, Chabab Belouizdad of Algeria, quarter-finalists in the past three editions of the Champions League, defeated Young Africans of Tanzania 3-0 in Algiers.

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Abdelraouf Benguit and Abderrahmane Meziane netted in the first half of the Group D encounter and Gambian substitute Lamin Jallow completed the scoring in added time.

While the result was anticipated, the wide winning margin was not as Young Africans impressed when reaching the final of the second-tier CAF Confederation Cup last season.

Title-holders and record 11-time Champions League winners Al Ahly host group debutants Medeama of Ghana on Saturday in the same section.

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CAF Champions league Cairo TP Mazembe F.C.

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