The three Algerian clubs who made history by becoming the first three teams to enter CAF Champions League last 8 have been drawn to face each other when the competition's group stages kick off mid this month.
Defending champions ES Setif, Algeria league champions USM Alger and MC El Eulma were thrown in the Group B dungeon that also has Sudanese Champions El Merreikh.
ES Setif secured their last 8 berth after outclassing Moroccan side Raja Casablanca 4-1 on penalties, the duo having drawn their first and return leg 2-2.
USM Alger overpowered Guinean side Kaloum Star 3-2 over two legs to enter the group stages while MC El Eulma stunned CS Sfaxien 7-6 on penalties to complete Algeria’s hat-trick.
Sudanese side Al Merreikh, the home club of Kenyan attacker Allan Wanga, overcame two-time winners Esperance of Tunisia on away goals and will be hoping to outmaneuver the three-prong Algerian challenge.
Congolese giants and 4-time winners TP Mazembe will be favorites to advance from Group A which also has record Sudan Premier League winners Al Hilal Omdurman, Moghreb Tetouan of Morocco and Egyptian surprise-package Smouha.
Al Hilal, three-time CAF Champions League semi-finalists beat DR Congo side Sanga Balende 1-0 on both legs for a 2-0 aggregate win. Smouha overturned a 1-0 away defeat at AC Leopards grabbing the return leg 2-0 in an empty stadium to qualify while Moghreb Toutan sent eight-time winners Al Ahly packing on penalties.
CAF Confederations Cup
In the CAF Confederations Cup play-offs draw, defending Champions Al Ahly whose drop from the superior Champions League competition led to the sacking of their manager, Spaniard Juan Carlos Garido, will face a mega battle against Tunisian side Club Africain. South Africa’s Orlando Pirates landed a fairly easily draw as they will clash with AS Kaloum of Guinea while Raja Casablanca, conquerors of Kaizer Chiefs will face Etoile du Sahel from Tunisia.
Ghana’s Hearts of Oak will face Tunisian side Esperance in a repeat of the 2000 CAF Champions League final which the Accra-based side won 5-2 on aggregate. Congolese sides AC Leopards and Sanga Balende will take on Nigeria’s Warri Wolves and Egyptian side Zamalek respectively.
Three-time winners CS Sfaxien will continue their hunt for a fourth title by playing Abidjan-based Asec Mimosas while 2009 winners Stade Malien from Mali face a trick tie in the shape of AS Vita Club.
The first legs will be played on the weekend of May 15-17 with the return legs set for June 5-7.
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