Sundowns lead SA's charge in the next phase of African club competitions
Mamelodi Sundowns lead the list of three South African clubs who go into the draw for the next phase of the two African club competitions in Cairo on Wednesday with the possibility that Bidvest Wits and SuperSport United could play against each other.
Wits drop down to the Caf Confederation Cup field after being eliminated from the African Champions League in a penalty shootout against Primeiro Agosto of Angola on Saturday‚ failing again to get to the group phase of the continent’s top competition.
They are now in the secondary competition‚ along with 15 other weekend losing teams from the second round of the Champions League.
They will be drawn against the weekend winners of the Confederation Cup ties‚ so SuperSport and Wits are in opposing pits for the draws and there is a chance that they will be pitted against each other in the third round.
The Confederation Cup has an extra round of knockout games before it goes to the group phase and Wednesday’s draw at the Confederation of African Football’s headquarters will sort out both the third round knockout games‚ with the group phase having another draw on April 21.
The high point will be the Champions League draw with the weekend’s 16 winners being divided into four groups of four.
Sundowns will likely be seeded although CAF will only decide on the eve of the draw.
They go into the field with holders Wydad Casablanca of Morocco and record winners Al Ahly of Egypt‚ plus TP Mazembe Englebert of the Democratic Republic of Congo‚ who almost blew it against UD Songo from Mozambique but held on for a 4-3 aggregate win.
Champions League newcomers include Township Rollers of Botswana and Mbabane Swallows of Swaziland.
The third round of Confederation Cup matches – involving SuperSport and Wits - are to be played on the weekend of April 6-8 with the return games 10 days later in midweek on April 17-18.
The group phase of both competitions starts in May with two rounds of matches.
Action will resume after the World Cup with four more rounds in July and August.