Africa’s premier club competition, the CAF Champions League, will get its quarterfinal round underway on Saturday with four first-leg matches across the continent.
The action begins in Dar Es Salaam where Tanzania’s Simba will welcome DR Congo giants TP Mazembe. ‘Wekundu wa Msimbazi’ were one of the surprise packages in the group stage, coming through a tough pool which included Al Ahly, AS Vita and JS Saoura, and they will need to once again rely on their home form against a ‘Ravens’ team looking to return to the pinnacle of the African game.
In Tshwane, South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns will look to finally get the better of Al Ahly. The teams met in the 2001 final as well as in the preliminary rounds of the 2007 edition, and the Egyptian heavyweights emerged victorious in both ties.
The ‘Brazilians’ will fancy their chances of an upset, but the motivation to reach the final for a third successive time and claim a record-extending ninth African title will be strong for the ‘Red Devils’.
In Guinea, dark horses Horoya AC will look to punch above their weight when Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca head to Conakry, while title holders Esperance de Tunis – who were beaten by Raja Casablanca in the CAF Cup Super Cup last Friday evening – face another North African derby as they head to Algeria to face CS Constantine.
The return matches are set to be held next week Saturday, 13 April. The four aggregate winners will advance into the semifinals.
CAF Champions League quarterfinal, first-leg fixtures
All times CAT
Saturday 6 April
15:00: Simba SC v TP Mazembe
15:00: Mamelodi Sundowns v Al Ahly
18:00: Horoya v Wydad Casablanca
21:00: CS Constantine v Esperance de Tunis