African champions TP Mazembe start defence with draw in Ethiopia

Thomas Ulimwengu of TP Mazembe
Thomas Ulimwengu of TP Mazembe

TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo began the defence of their African Champions League crown with a hard-fought 2-2 draw away to Saint George of Ethiopia in the first leg of their last-32 tie.

Under the guidance of new French coach Hubert Velud, Mazembe were stretched by their impressive Ethiopian opponents.

The champions left Ethiopia with an advantage of two away goals ahead of the second leg next weekend in Lubumbashi.

Saint George took a surprise lead in the 11th minute when Assefa Behaile put the hosts 1-0 up.

Ghanaian Daniel Nii Adjei equalised on the stroke of half-time for Mazembe, with an Isaac Isiende own goal giving the champions a 2-1 lead a minute into the second half.

Saint George kept up the pressure, and were rewarded with an equaliser on the hour mark from Girma Adane to make it 2-2.

African Champions League fixtures and results

Elsewhere on Sunday, Zamalek's new coach Alex McLeish enjoyed a 1-0 victory against Union Douala in Cameroon in his first African Champions League match.

Alex McLeish
Alex McLeish is relishing to the chance to win silverware

A former manager of Scotland, McLeish became the fourth coach of Zamalek this season after Portuguese, Brazilian and Egyptian managers were fired.

After years of battling relegation in England with Birmingham City and neighbours Aston Villa, McLeish is keen to win a trophy with Zamalek - who have won the African Champions League on five occasions.

Zamalek made the perfect start in Douala with Burkina Faso defender Mohamed Koffi scoring a winner after 59 minutes.

On Saturday, Al Ahly, neighbours of Zamalek drew 0-0 against Recreativo Libolo in Angola. Ahly are now managed by Dutchman Martin Jol - another former English Premier League manager.

Elsewhere, Nigeria's Enyimba dominated their home leg against Vital'O of Burundi, winning 5-1 in Port Harcourt.

Two goals each from Stephen Chukwude and Mfon Udoh put Enyimba 4-0 ahead. Hussein Shaban pulled one back for the visitors but a Leonard Ugochukwu strike five minutes from time put the Nigerians in a strong position ahead of the return leg in Bujumbura.

There were contrasting fortunes for another Nigerian side, Warri Wolves, who slumped to a 1-0 defeat to Al Merrikh of Sudan in Warri.

Vita Club of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the 2014 runners-up, shaded Ferroviario Maputo of Mozambique 1-0 in Kinshasa.

Wydad of Morocco coach John Toshack, the former Liverpool striker and twice Real Madrid manager, watched his team demolish CNaPS Sport of Madagascar 5-1 in Casablanca.