Johannesburg (AFP) – Mohamed ‘Afsha’ Magdy broke the deadlock after 57 minutes as holders Al Ahly of Egypt romped to a 3-0 CAF Champions League victory over Al Merrikh of Sudan on Tuesday.  

The midfielder headed a Mohamed Hany cross into the net at the Cairo International Stadium to break the resistance of the visitors in a Group A first round match.  

Mahmoud Kahraba scored a second goal six minutes later for the record nine-time African champions, who finished third at the Club World Cup in Qatar last week. 

Democratic Republic of Congo-born Walter Bwalya put the outcome beyond doubt with a goal on 71 minutes in a match staged behind closed doors because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Kahraba also scored in a qualifier against Niger outfit SONIDEP while Magdy and Bwalya claimed their first Champions League goals this season. 

The wide winning margin took Ahly to the top of the table, ahead of Simba of Tanzania on goal difference, and V Club of DR Congo lie third and Merrikh last. 

Simba will host Ahly and Merrikh have home advantage over V Club in the second round of matches on February 23.

Ahly are favoured to win the section while Simba have stolen a match on V Club in the probable contest for second place by beating them 1-0 in Kinshasa last Friday.

Group winners and runners-up advance to the quarter-finals of the marquee African club competition, which carries a $2.5 million (2 million euros) first prize.