Sundowns to face Wydad Casablanca in CAF Champions League draw
CAPE TOWN – Mamelodi Sundowns will face Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca for the fourth consecutive year in the CAF Champions League, following Wednesday night's draw for the final group phase in Cairo.
Also in Group C are Angolan outfit Petro Atletico de Luanda and Algerian club USM Alger.
Last season Sundowns, the 2016 Champions League winners, clashed with Wydad in the group phase, winning 2-1 at home but losing 1-0 away.
They were to meet again in the semifinals, with the Moroccan side 2-1 aggregate victors.
Overall in the eight matches played, Wydad, who were champions in 2017 and losing finalists in last season's edition, hold the upper hand over the South Africans, with four wins, two draws and two defeats.
USM Alger, who lost in the 2015 Champions League final to TP Mazembe, will also provide stiff competition, while Petro Atletico have been regulars in African competition and will also likely be no walkovers; a tough test faces coach Pitso Mosimane and his Sundowns side.
Record eight-time winners of Africa's premier competition Ah Ahly, who lost 5-1 on aggregate to Sundowns in the quarterfinals last season, are in Group B together with Etoile du Sahel, Al-Hilal and Zimbabwean club FC Platinum.
DR Congo giants TP Mazembe, themselves five-time Champions League winners, will be up against Zambian team ZESCO United and Angolan side Primeiro de Agosto, and will be joined by either Zamalek of Egypt or Senegalese outfit Generation Foot.
Two sides from each of the four groups will advance to the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, in the Confederation Cup, South Africa still have two teams competing – Bidvest Wits and National First Division club TS Galaxy, who shocked Kaizer Chiefs in last season's Nedbank Cup final to earn their place in the African competition.
The Confederation Cup is currently at the playoff stage, with the teams who won in the second preliminary round having been put into the hat with the clubs who lost in the second preliminary round of the Champions League.
Wits will fancy their chances against Mozambique side UD Songo over the two legs, but Galaxy, however, will be very much underdogs against Nigerian powerhouse Enyimba, who are two-time Champions League winners.
The Champions League fixture dates are yet to be announced, but the Confederation Cup games will take place on the 27 October (first leg) with the return leg on 3 November.
Group A: Primeiro de Agosto (Angola), TP Mazembe (DR Congo), Zamalek (Egypt) /Generation Foot (Senegal), ZESCO United (Zambia)
Group B: Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia), Al-Hilal (Sudan), FC Platinum (Zimbabwe), Al-Ahly (Egypt)
Group C: USM Alger (Algeria), Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa), Petro de Luanda (Angola), Wydad Casablanca (Morocco),
Group D: Raja Casablanca (Morocco), JS Kabylie (Algeria), AS Vita Club (DR Congo), Esperance de Tunis (Tunisia)
Confederation Cup draw:
Horoya (Guinea) vs Bandari (Kenya)
Young Africans (Tanzania) vs Pyramids (Egypt)
Enyimba (Nigeria) vs TS Galaxy (South Africa)
Zamalek (Egypt)/Generation Foot (Senegal) vs ESAE (Benin)
Asante Kotoko vs San Pedro (Cote d'Ivoire)
KCCA (Uganda) vs Paradou (Algeria)
Gor Mahia (Kenya) vs DC Motema Pembe (DR Congo)
UD Songo (Mozambique) vs Bidvest Wits (South Africa)
Elect Sport (Chad) vs Djoliba (Mali)
Green Eagles (Zambia) vs HUSA (Morocco)
Cano Sports (Equatorial Guinea) vs Zanaco (Zambia)
Fosa Juniors (Madagascar) vs RS Berkane (Morocco)
Cote d'Or (Seychelles) vs Al Masry (Egypt)
ASC Kara (Togo) vs Rangers (Nigeria)
FC Nouadhibou (Mauritania) vs Triangle United (Zimbabwe)
El Nasr (Libya) vs Proline (Uganda)
African News Agency (ANA)