Sundowns to face Africa’s most successful club Al Ahly in Champions League showdown

20 March 2019 - 20:55 By Nick Said
Mamelodi Sundowns' head coach Pitso Mosimane is dreaming big in the Caf Champions League.
Mamelodi Sundowns' head coach Pitso Mosimane is dreaming big in the Caf Champions League.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns will face Africa’s most successful club Al Ahly in the quarterfinals of the African Champions League after the draw was made in Cairo on Wednesday night.

Sundowns missed out on a place among the seeds after finishing runners-up in their pool‚ and now face a daunting two-legged quarterfinal against the Egyptian giants‚ who are eight-time winners of the competition.

If Sundowns make it past this stage they will face a semi-final against either Horoya from Guinea or Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca‚ who they met in the pool stages earlier this season.

Sundowns famously beat Ahly’s great rivals Zamalek in the final of the 2016 Champions League competition‚ and will perhaps feel fortunate they missed a trip to holders Esperance of Tunisia‚ and a difficult tie against DR Congo giants TP Mazembe.

Ahly‚ runners-up last year but not at their best in 2018-19‚ have a good history against South African sides though and have beaten both Sundowns and Orlando Pirates in previous finals of the Champions League.

Esperance will face Algerian champions CS Constantine in the quarterfinals‚ while Horoya‚ who vanquished Orlando Pirates in the last round of group at the weekend‚ face an uphill battle against 2017 champions Wydad.

The last quarterfinal is perhaps easier to call as Tanzanian side Simba‚ at this stage of the tournament for the first time‚ take on Mazembe and will be massive underdogs.

Sundowns will be at home in the first leg on the weekend of April 5-6 before travelling away to Cairo a week later for the return fixture.

Champions League draw:

CS Constantine (Algeria) vs Esperance (Tunisia)

Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa) vs Al Ahly (Egypt)

Horoya (Guinea) vs Wydad Casablanca (Morocco)

Simba (Tanzania) vs TP Mazembe (DR Congo)

Confederation Cup quarterfinal draw:

Nkana FC (Zambia) vs CS Sfaxien (Tunisia)

Étoile du Sahel (Tunisia) vs Al-Hilal (Sudan)

Hassania Agadir (Morocco) vs Zamalek (Egypt)

Gor Mahia (Kenya) vs RS Berkane (Morocco)


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