Rivers United, others chase glory as CAF CL, CC knockout stages begin

Written by on April 20, 2023

 The road to the finals of Africa’s top club competitions, the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup, reaches the suspense phase this weekend.

This stage of the competitions sees the continent’s top clubs, including the Port Harcourt-based Rivers United, start the first leg journey of the quarter-finals.

The action gets underway on Friday evening as four-time champions, ES Tunis of Tunisia make their way to Algeria to face JS Kabylie.

The Algerian side are working towards a third Champions League medal, having won it in 1981 and 1990.

The following day sees Tanzanian football powerhouse Simba AC welcoming reigning champions Wydad AC in an afternoon fixture that is set to bring Dar es Salaam to a complete standstill.

Later that evening, South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns, who have raised their hands as one of the competition favourites, face Algeria’s CR Belouizdad.

The Algerians are aiming to advance beyond the quarter-final stage for this first time.

In a corresponding tie, competition record-holders Al Ahly welcome Raja CA who are yearning for a CAF Champions League gold medal, having last won it in 1999.

Sunday will be a feast of CAF Confederation Cup fixtures with reigning Nigerian league champions Rivers United kicking off their first-ever Cup quarter-final fixture against Tanzanian champions, Young Africans SC.

The match will hold in the afternoon at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.

Egyptian side Pyramids FC then welcome South Africa’s Marumo Gallants in a north-versus-south tie in the evening.

Tunisia’s US Monastir, who celebrate a 100-year milestone, face Ivorian side ASEC Mimosas who are working towards reclaiming their position in African club football.

The quarter-finals round up with a marquee north African tie when Algeria’s USMA takes on AS FAR of Morocco who are gunning for their second CAF Confederation Cup title.

They had won it in 2005 and finished second the following season.

David Vincent Ejeh

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