Friday Apr 01, 2022. 10:00
Al Ahly and their bid to keep alive hopes of a third successive CAF Champions League title will be the centre of attention when the continental competition wraps up its group phase with eight Matchday 6 fixtures across the continent this weekend.
The Egyptian heavyweights are looking to claim the one and only remaining quarterfinal berth, the runners-up spot in Group A, when they welcome Sudan’s Al Hilal in Cairo for a clash scheduled for late on the evening of Sunday 3 April.
The Red Devils have a clear advantage over the Blue Wave, as they need only avoid defeat to secure qualification for the final eight. Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane is confident of progression, but admits that coaching the Cairo giants comes with a lot of baggage.
“Pressure comes with working in Al Ahly, and since I took over the job, I have been living in this environment,” said the South African tactician. “Especially since the team is required to win every tournament, whether in Africa, the league, the Egypt Cup and the Club World Cup. The team is always required to win.
“I prefer playing in this atmosphere, under pressure and winning trophies with the team. A team of Al Ahly’s size, and with the experience of its players, can achieve its goals under the most difficult circumstances.”
The Matchday gets underway on Friday with three matches featuring six teams which have all been eliminated from quarterfinal running. Etoile du Sahel and Jwaneng Galaxy will meet in Tunis to avoid the wooden spoon in Group C, while it’s the same story for Horoya AC and AmaZulu’s Group B clash in Conakry, as well as Zamalek v Sagrada Esperanca in Group D in Cairo.
Saturday opens with Mamelodi Sundowns looking to retain their unbeaten record in Group A (which they have already secured top spot in) when they welcome Al Merrikh to FNB Stadium, while the late games are all about who finishes top of Groups C and D.
In the former, Esperance de Tunis welcome CR Belouizdad to Stade Hammadi Agrebi in Tunis with the teams both locked on 11 points, while the latter sees Wydad Casablanca hold a one-point advantage over visitors Petro de Luanda for their meeting at Stade Mohamed V.
Sunday, aside from the Ahly v Hilal clash, also sees Raja Casablanca looking to button down top spot in Group B when they host ES Setif (who trail the leaders by three points).
CAF Champions League Matchday 6 fixtures
All times CAT
Friday 1 April
15:00: Etoile du Sahel v Jwaneng Galaxy
18:00: Horoya AC v AmaZulu
18:00: Zamalek v Sagrada Esperanca
Saturday 2 April
15:00: Mamelodi Sundowns v Al Merrikh
23:00: Esperance de Tunis v CR Belouizdad
23:00: Wydad Casablanca v Petro de Luanda
Sunday 3 April
22:00: Al Ahly v Al Hilal
23:00: Raja Casablanca v ES Setif