by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – A match pitting the winners of the last two editions of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League will be the highlight of the competition as the group stages reach the penultimate stage.
Current holders, Wydad Athletic Club of Morocco, will host 2016 winners, South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns, in a Group C tie at the Stade Mohamed Stadium on Friday evening.
True to the two teams pedigree, the duo top the four-team group, with the reigning CAF Club champions on eight points, three ahead of the South Africans.
Elsewhere, Guinea champions, Horoya FC, host Togolese side AS Togo-Port in an earlier Group C clash in Conakry. Horoya are third with same points as Mamelodi Sundowns while AS Togo-Port anchors the four-team pool with three points.
There is a lot to play for with a horde of must-win matches set to determine the sides that book a place in the next berth or bow out of the competition.
Esperance, the Tunisian powerhouse, are the only side to have secured a place in the quarterfinals.
The Tunisians host Egyptian rivals and eight-time winners, Al Ahly, at the Stade Olympique de Radès in the north Africa derby.
ES Setif of Algeria tackles Congolese powerhouse and five-time winners TP Mazembe at the 8 May 1945 Stadium in Setif.
On Saturday, Mbabane Swallows of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) host ZESCO United of Zambia at Mavuso Sports Centre in a Southern African derby.
Log leaders Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia host Angolan outfit Clube Desportivo 1º de Agosto at Stade Olympique de Sousse in the Group D duel.
Also on Saturday, Group A bottom side Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) of Uganda host Botswana’s Township Rollers at the Nelson Mandela National Stadium while struggling Group B’s Moroccan side Difaa El Jadida
will battle MC Alger of Algeria at Stade El Abdi.
The 2018 CAF Champions League is the 54th edition of Africa’s premier club football tournament, and the 22nd edition under the current format.
Quarterfinals will be played in September ahead of the two-legged final in November.
Full Groups Fixture:
– Horoya Vs AS Togo-Port, Stade 28 September 18h00
– Wydad Athletic Club Vs Mamelodi Sundowns, Stade Mohamed 20h00
– Esperance Vs Al Ahly SC, Stade 7 November 21h00
– ES Setif Vs TP Mazembe, Stade 8 Mai 1945 21h00
– Mbabane Swallows Vs ZESCO United, Mavuso Sports Centre 15h00
– KCCA Vs Township Rollers, Nelson Mandela National Stadium 15h00
– Difaa El Jadida Vs MC Alger, Stade El Abdi 20h00
– Etoile du Sahel Vs de Agosto, Stade Olympique de Sousse 21h00.
– CAJ News