FUS Rabat team. Photo: EPA/STR
Thursday Feb 09, 2017. 12:30
Africa’s premier club competition, the CAF Champions League, begins its 2017 campaign with 23 preliminary round, first leg matches taking place across the continent this weekend.
The action will feature several big names and ‘teams to watch’, though nine clubs – including reigning champions Mamelodi Sundowns – have been given a bye through to the next round.
Sundowns will face the winners of the tie between Uganda’s KCCA and Primeiro de Agosto of Angola – the teams will meet in the first leg of their tie in Kampala on Friday afternoon.
Elsewhere, surprise Ghanaian champions Wa All Stars will take their first steps in what they hope will be a long and successful campaign when they face Libya’s Al Ahli Tripoli, while Zambia’s Zanaco will hope to follow in the footsteps of compatriots ZESCO United, who reached the semifinals last year, when they battle APR of Rwanda.
Nigeria’s Rivers United will face a tough opening match away to Malian giants Real Bamako, while Stade Malien will battle against Liberia’s Barrack Young Controllers.
DR Congo giants AS Vita will fancy their chances of joining TP Mazembe in the second round when they face Swaziland’s Royal Leopards, Ethiopia’s Saint George will look to enjoy a trip to the Seychelles to face Cote d’Or and South Africa’s Bidvest Wits will be confident of victory against Reunion’s Saint-Louisienne.
The return leg matches will be played on the weekend of 17-19 February.
CAF Champions League, preliminary round, first leg ties
Rail Club du Kadiogo v Diables Noirs
Real Bamako v Rivers United
AS Tanda v AS FAN
Johansen v FUS Rabat
Wa All Stars v Al Ahli Tripoli
KCCA v Primeiro de Agosto
JS Saoura v Enugu Rangers
Zimamoto v Ferroviario Beira
Royal Leopards v AS Vita
Zanaco v APR
CF Mounana v Vital’O
US Goree v Horoya
Sony Ela Nguema v Al-Merrikh
Ngaya Club v Young Africans
Barrack Young Controllers v Stade Malien
Gambia Ports Authority v Sewe Sports
CNaPS Sport v Township Rollers
Coton Sport v Atlabara
Saint-Louisienne v Bidvest Wits
Lioli v CAPS United
Cote d’Or v Saint George
AC Leopards v UMS de Loum
Tusker v AS Port-Louis 2000