'Cataclysm' as Mazembe crash out of African Champions League

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Benni McCarthy in the dugoutAfrican Champions League debutants AmaZulu are managed by former South Africa international Benni McCarthy

Five-time winners TP Mazembe provided the shock of the African Champions League preliminary round when the Congolese side were knocked out by debutants AmaZulu.

African champions as recently as 2015, Mazembe failed to reach the group stage for the first time in five years.

The DR Congo champions were held to a 1-1 draw in Lubumbashi on Saturday by the South Africans, who are managed by former Porto and Blackburn Rovers striker Benni McCarthy.

Mazembe, who drew the first leg 0-0 in Durban, lost the tie on the away goals rule.

"The qualifying operation for the Champions League group stage has failed!" said the club's official website,external-link who did not hide the disappointment at the shock result.

"Cataclysm for the supporters, disappointment for the players who gave everything ... and consternation on the part of the directors who have put all means into continuing the Champions League adventure."

Elsewhere, another seasoned side - Simba SC of Tanzania - also fell prior to the lucrative group phase as they were stunned by Botswana's Jwaneng Galaxy.

Galaxy made light of the fact that they are contesting the Champions League for the first time when beating Simba 3-1 to also progress on away goals.

Holders Al Ahly cruised past visitors Gendarmerie Nationale 5-0 in Egypt to secure a 6-1 aggregate win over the side from Niger, while Moroccans Wydad Casablanca beat Ghana's Hearts of Oak 6-1 to seal a 6-2 aggregate victory.

South Africans Mamelodi Sundowns, Tunisia's Esperance, Horoya AC of Guinea, Sudan's Al Hilal, and the Algerian pair of CR Belouizdad and ES Setif are among the other clubs who made it to the group stages of the competition.

Beaten sides will drop into the additional second preliminary round of the Confederation Cup.

African Champions League play-off results

  • Zamalek (Egypt) 4-0 Tusker (Kenya) (5-0 agg)
  • Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia) 4-0 APR (Rwanda) (5-1 agg)
  • Royal Leopards (Eswatini) 1-0 Sagrada Esperanca (Angola) (2-3 agg)
  • Zanaco (Zambia) 2-1 Al Merreikh (Sudan) (2-4 agg)
  • TP Mazembe (DR Congo) 1-1 AmaZulu (South Africa) (1-1 agg)*
  • Petro Atletico (Angola) 2-0 AS Otoho (Congo) (4-2 agg)
  • Al Ahly (Egypt) 5-0 US Gendarmerie Nationale (Niger) (6-1 agg)
  • Raja (Morocco) 2-0 LPRC Oilers (Liberia) (4-0 agg)
  • Simba (Tanzania) 1-3 Jwaneng Galaxy (Botswana) (3-3 agg)*
  • Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa) 2-0 AS Maniema Union (DR Congo) (4-2 agg)
  • Esperance (Tunisia) 1-0 Al Ittihad (Libya) (1-0 agg)
  • Horoya (Guinea) 2-1 Stade Malien (Mali) (3-1 agg)
  • Al Hilal (Sudan) 1-0 Rivers United (Nigeria) (2-1 agg)
  • ES Setif (Algeria) 2-0 Nouadhibou (Mauritania) (3-3 agg)*
  • CR Belouizdad (Algeria) 2-0 ASEC Mimosas (Ivory Coast) (3-3 agg)*
  • Wydad Casablanca (Morocco) 6-1 Hearts of Oak (Ghana) (6-2 agg)

*AmaZulu, Jwaneng Galaxy, ES Setif and CR Belouizdad progress on away goals rule

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