The second leg will be played at the end of the month
Egypt flexed their football muscles again as Zamalek triumphed 2-1 in Rwanda against APR on Saturday as the Champions League kicked off.
Just one week after winning the African Nations Cup, the north African country demonstrated that their strength is not confined to their national team.
The Cairo club travelled to central Africa on a revenge mission having been whipped 4-1 by military club APR in the same competition four years ago.
And it did not take long for Zamalek to make their mark with Mostafa Gaafar scoring after just six minutes for a club that has won the premier Caf club competition a
record equalling five times.
The team named after an affluent suburb in the Egyptian capital struck again 20 minutes from full-time through Mohamed Aboul Ela before Akiam Jannot grabbed a late consolation goal.
Given the near invincibility of Egyptian clubs at home, Zamalek appear set to reach the second of three qualifying rounds for the group phase of the US$3.5m competition.
Other former champions to succeed on the road were Entente Setif of Algeria, who humiliated ASC SNIM 5-1 in Mauritania with three of the victors' goals coming in the last six minutes.
Farid Touil and Lamouri Djediat scored early goals for Arab Champions League title holders Setif before Dana Tiqallah reduced the arrears from the penalty spot in Nouakchott.
After 64 goalless minutes, Seri Die converted another spot kick to unleash an Entente onslaught that also brought goals for Abdelmalek Ziaya and Ivorian Remi Adico.
Zambia's Zesco United also triumphed on the road after beating Uganda Revenue Authority 2-0 in Kampala with Nelson Mkandanare and Nicola Zulu getting the goals.
Cameroonian side Cotonsport Garoua launched another attempt to reach the pool phase for the first time with an impressive 1-0 victory over Vital'O in Burundi courtesy of a Oumarou Sanda goal two minutes into stoppage time.
South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns and Platinum Stars, one of 12 national league runners-ups given places on merit, won as the country began another attempt to add to the 1995 triumph of Orlando Pirates.
A second-half goal from national team midfielder Surprise Moriri earned Sundowns a 1-0 win against Miembeni on the island of Zanzibar while Stars cruised to a 4-0 home victory over Correctional Services of Lesotho.
Solomon Mathe, Daniel Tshabalala and Koketso Mmotong scored in a six-minute first half goal blitz for debutants Platinum and substitute Collen Makgopela completed the rout of the prison warders two minutes into stoppage time.
The return leg of both matches will be played at the end of the month.