Wayne Arendse of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Mbondi Christ of Rayon Sport during the 2018 CAF Confederations Cup match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Rayon Sports at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria on 18 March 2018 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePi
Thursday Mar 22, 2018. 09:00
The draw for the group stage of the 2018 CAF Champions League took place in Cairo on Wednesday evening, throwing up four fascinating pools for a phase of the competition which runs from early May to late August.
Reigning African champions Wydad Casablanca of Morocco have been drawn in Group C alongside 2016 winners Mamelodi Sundowns – the team they eliminated in the quarterfinals in last year’s run to the trophy – as well as AS Togo-Port and Horoya of Guinea.
Eight-time champions Al Ahly headline Group A, where they will battle Tunisian giants Esperance de Tunis as well as history-makers Township Rollers and KCCA – respectively the first teams from Botswana and Uganda to reach the group stage of the competition.
Group B features Confederation Cup champions TP Mazembe of the DRC, Moroccan upstarts Difaa El Jadidi and the Algerian pair of MC Alger and ES Setif, while Group D has a distinctly Southern African feel, with Angola’s Primeiro de Agosto, Zambian side Zesco United and Swaziland’s Mbabane Swallows (the first from their country to reach this stage), as well as Tunisian club Etoile du Sahel.
The group stage kicks off on the weekend of May 4-6 and runs until the midweek of August 28-29, with the top two teams from each group advancing into the quarterfinals.
CAF Champions League group stage draw
Esperance de Tunis
Difaa El Jadidi
Primeiro de Agosto
Etoile du Sahel