Chiefs‚ Sundowns avoid Mosimane’s Al Ahly in Champions League group stage
South African giants Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs avoided meeting each other or Pitso Mosimane’s Al Ahly in the group stages of the 2020-21 Caf Champions League in the draw conducted by the Confederation of African (Caf) in Cairo‚ Egypt on Friday.
Sundowns were drawn against regular challengers TP Mazembe of Democratic Repyublic of Congo‚ Al Hilal of Sudan and CR Belouizdad of Algeria in Group B.
Chiefs‚ who have qualified for their first group stage in 24 years of trying‚ will meet Moroccan giants Wydad Casablanca‚ Horoya AC of Guinea and Atletico Petroleos of Angola in Group C.
Ahly‚ who defeated Cairo rivals Zamalek to win the 2019-20 Champions League for the ninth time in November‚ have AS Vita Club of DR Congo‚ Simba SC of Tanzania and El Merrikh of Sudan in a Group A that Mosimane’s team will be favourites to top.
Esperance of Tunisia‚ Zamalek‚ MC Alger of Algeria and Teungueth of Senegal completed the draw in Group D.
Chiefs will travel to Morocco to play Wydad – who have enjoyed recent success as the 2017 winners and 2019 finalists – in their first match.
Sundowns host Al Hilal in the fixtures that will be played on February 12-13. The group matches are scheduled to be concluded on April 9-10.
Sundowns carry SA’s big hopes in the Champions League as they have qualified for the competition since 2014 and were winners of Africa’s prestigious inter-club competition undcer Mosimane in 2016.
In the Caf Confederations Cup last-32 draw‚ for that competition’s final stage before the group phase‚ Pirates were pitted against their Southern African neighbours Jwaneng Galaxy of Botswana.
Galaxy are the team who lost 5-1 on aggregate to Mamelodi Sundowns in the first round of the Champions League this week. Pirates will first travel to Gaborone before hosting the Botswana champions in Soweto in the second leg.
Bloemfontein Celtic‚ the other South African team in the Confed Cup‚ will meet Nigerian giants Enyimba if they win their first round game against another Nigerian side‚ Rivers United FC.
The second leg of the Celtic-Rivers game was supposed to take place in Nigeria this week‚ but postponed by Caf after an agreement on when Celtic should have arrived and done Covid-19 tests in Nigeria was not reached.
The first leg of the Confed Cup matches will be played on February 14 and concluded on March 21.
2020-21 Champions League group stage draw:
Group A: Al Ahly (Egypt)‚ AS Vita Club (DR Congo)‚ Simba SC (Tanzania)‚ Al Merrikh (Sudan)
Group B: TP Mazembe (DR Congo)‚ Mamelodi Sundowns‚ Al Hilal (Sudan)‚ CR Belouizdad (Algeria)
Group C: Wydad Casablanca (Morocco)‚ Horoya (Guinea)‚ Petro Atletico (Angola)‚ Kaizer Chiefs
Group D: Esperance (Tunisia)‚ Zamalek (Egypt)‚ Mouloudia Alger (Algeria)‚ Teungueth (Senegal)