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By ESPN Staff
Jan 29, 2007

Zamalek enjoy winning start to ACL campaign

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Five-time African Champions League winners Zamalek crushed Vital'O of Burundi 4-1 in Cairo on Sunday, capping a weekend when the main contenders for the title enjoyed winning starts to their campaigns.

Veteran Hazem Emam, who played in Zamalek's last continental championship-winning team five years ago, was among the scorers as the Egyptian giants cruised to an easy win that was only marred when they conceded a late consolation goal.

Wydad Casablanca of Morocco, Tunisian champions Esperance and South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns also scored four goals at home in their first leg ties, while Algeria's JS Kabylie struggled to overcome unheralded opposition from Guinea Bissau.

Youssef Saibi scored twice as JSK sauntered into a 3-0 lead after 50 minutes against OS Balantas but Emerson pulled a goal back for the visitors in the 71st minute, leaving Kabylie with a narrower-than-expected advantage for next month's second leg.

On Friday, Amine Ltief notched a hat-trick to lead Esperance to a comfortable 4-0 victory over Renaissance of Chad, despite a poor second half performance.

Wydad struggled to impose themselves in a goalless first half but Abdessamad Rafik's two goals helped the side ease to a 4-0 victory over ASC Mauritel in Casablanca on Sunday.

Venezuelan striker Jose Torrealba netted three for Sundowns in Pretoria on Saturday as they beat Royal Leopards from neighbouring Swaziland 4-2.

There was also a 4-0 win for Sudan's Al Hilal against AS Polisi of Zanzibar in Khartoum on Sunday.

Tanzania's Young Africans and Fello Star Labe of Guinea enjoyed early passages into the second round in contrasting fashion.

Young Africans beat ASGM of the Comoros Islands 5-1 in Dar-es-Salaam in a tie that was played over one leg because the Indian Ocean island lacks the facilities to host international matches.

Guinea's Fello Star Labe advanced via a walkover after Sporting Praia refused to travel to the West African country due to security concerns.

The Cape Verde Island team's request for a postponement of the first round, first leg match in Conakry was rejected by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) despite a violent general strike in Guinea.

Fello Star Labe now meet Etoile Sahel of Tunisia in the second round in March.

The first round, second leg matches will be played on the weekend of February 9-11.