Ahly, Zamalek with must-win midweek clashes

Ahly, Zamalek with must-win midweek clashes
Al Ahly players in a huddle

by Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Mar 16, 2021. 09:00

The CAF Champions League group stage returns with Matchday 4 fixtures on Tuesday 16 March, headlined by must-win clashes for last season’s finalists: Egyptian giants Al Ahly and Zamalek.

Ahly face a tough clash away to AS Vita in Kinshasa in an afternoon match, having been held 2-2 in Cairo by the DR Congo giants earlier this month. The result left Pitso Mosimane’s team in third place on the Group A log – three points adrift of Tanzania’s Simba SC, who will host Sudan’s Al Merrikh in a concurrent clash in Dar es Salaam.

“We have no choice but to beat Vita Club at Congo. We put ourselves in this difficult situation. I believe in my team as the most important thing is how to finish the group stage,” said manager Mosimane.

Ahly’s arch rivals Zamalek find themselves in an even worse position in Group D. They are third with two points, three points behind second-placed MC Alger (who host Senegal’s Teungueth) and five adrift of leaders Esperance de Tunis – the team which defeated the White Knights 3-1 in Rades earlier this month.

Zamalek have responded by replacing manager Jaime Pacheco with Patrice Carteron, with the Frenchman parachuted in to try and salvage their African campaign.

“My mission is not only technical, but what matters to me is to restore the lost spirit in the team. This is what I told the players during my meeting with them today and I am confident that they will help me to implement this,” said Carteron upon his return.

In Groups B and C, Mamelodi Sundowns and Wydad Casablanca will look to continue their 100 percent records with matches against TP Mazembe (home) and Horoya AC (away respectively).

Group B will also see Al Hilal of Sudan welcome Algeria’s CR Belouizdad to Omdurman for a match which could prove vital in determining which team joins Sundowns in advancing, while Group C’s other clash will see Angola’s Petro de Luanda chasing their first points when South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs head to Estadio 11 de Novembro.

CAF Champions League fixtures, Tuesday 16 March

All times CAT

15:00: Al Hilal v CR Belouizdad

15:00: AS Vita v Al Ahly

15:00: Simba SC v Al Merrikh

18:00: Horoya AC v Wydad Casablanca

18:00: Mamelodi Sundowns v TP Mazembe

18:00: Petro de Luanda v Kaizer Chiefs

21:00: MC Alger v Teungueth FC

21:00: Zamalek v Esperance de Tunis

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