CAFCL: Last three quarterfinal berths up for grabs

CAFCL: Last three quarterfinal berths up for grabs
Zamalek players warm up during the 2021 CAF Champions League

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Apr 09, 2021. 11:00

The last three quarterfinal berths in the CAF Champions League will be decided on Friday 9 and Saturday 10 April 2021, as the group stage of the competition wraps up with eight matches across the continent.

The first quarterfinal spot will be decided on Friday afternoon by two Group B matches in Tshwane and Lubumbashi. Al Hilal must win away to TP Mazembe in DR Congo and hope that already-qualified Mamelodi Sundowns draw with or defeat CR Belouizdad in South Africa. Any other combination of results will see the Algerian side join their South African opponents in advancing.

Friday night’s games will wrap up Group A, which has already seen Simba SC and Al Ahly secure advancement, though the Egyptian giants will be hungry to avenge a 1-0 loss to the Tanzanian side from back in February.


The early evening of Saturday 10 April sees last season’s runners-up, Zamalek, looking to complete a Lazarus-like return from the dead in Group D. The White Knights looked all but eliminated ahead of last weekend’s trip to Algiers, but a 2-0 win at Mouloudia Club has kept them in the hunt.

Patrice Carteron’s side now need to win at home to Senegal’s Teungueth and hope that already-qualified Esperance de Tunis do them a massive favour by defeating MC Alger in Rades.

“What I saw in the match is that Esperance is a much stronger side than MC Alger,” said Zamalek boss Patrice Carteron after the victory in Algiers.

“If we win against Teungueth, it’s only natural for Esperance to win the next match against the Algerian champion, which will make us qualify.

“Facing Teungueth will not be easy for us, but we will play to keep our hopes of qualifying alive until the last minute.”

Saturday night then wraps up the group stage with two Group C clashes. Wydad Casablanca are already safely through but will look to button up top spot when they host bottom-of-the-log Petro de Luanda, while the clash between Horoya AC and Kaizer Chiefs in Conakry is a straight fight for what will be the very last quarterfinal berth.

Any win will see the victors advance, while a draw will leave HAC and the Amakhosi level on points and call for head-to-head as the tie-breakers – a goalless stalemate would see the Guinea club advance, while a draw with goals will see the South Africans sneak through.

“I’ve always said even Barcelona would struggle in Africa, because it’s tough,” said Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt, who will have to cope without the suspended Daniel Akpeyi and Samir Nurkovic.

CAF Champions League matches, Matchday 6

Friday 9 April

15:00: TP Mazembe v Al Hilal

15:00: Mamelodi Sundowns v CR Belouizdad

21:00: Al Ahly v Simba SC

21:00: AS Vita Club v Al Merrikh

Saturday 10 April

18:00: Esperance de Tunis v MC Alger

18:00: Zamalek v Teungueth

21:00: Wydad Casablanca v Petro de Luanda

21:00: Horoya AC v Kaizer Chiefs

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