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CAF Champions League

Blockbuster Quarter-Final Fixtures Lined Up For CAF Champions League & CAF Confederation Cup –

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CAF Champions League Quarter-Finals journey mapped out

Africa’s premier club competitions, the  CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup make an exciting return this weekend as the Quarter-Finals of both competitions 2023/24 season officially resume today, Friday, 29 March.

The Champions League marks the start of the knockout stage of both competitions with blockbusters fixtures lined up for both Friday and Saturday.

Tanzania will be the centre of African football attention this weekend as two of their biggest clubs, Simba AC as well as Young Africans FC welcome two gold medallists in reigning champions, Al Ahly SC as well as Mamelodi Sundowns FC.

The defending champions face Simba AC in a 18h00 GMT kick off on Friday while Young Africans play host to the high-flying Mamelodi Sundowns the following evening.

In Lubumbashi, Angola’s Petro de Luanda will have a tough outing when they take on former champions TP Mazembe who are yearning for continental glory since their 2015 feat.

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Later in the evening, Ivorian powerhouse, Asec Mimosas takes on Esperance Sportive de Tunis to round up the first leg of the two-legged Quarter-Finals of the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League.

A Super Sunday is earmarked for the TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup as all four Quarter-Finals duels are set to take place.

The afternoon will see Nigeria’s Rivers United taking on the defending champions, USM Alger who go into the clash as firm favourites as title holders but will be wary of the danger posed by the Nigerians at home.

Ghana’s Dreams FC will be away to Mali’s Stade de Malien who last lifted the title in 2009 through a dramatic penalty shootout against Algeria’s ES Setif.

Former champions, RS Berkane are looking at reclaiming the title they lost USMA, as they travel to Libya to take on the unpredictable Abu Salem. This will be an even more special occasion for Libyan football as this marks the return of CAF Inter-Club football to the nation who have had to play their matches away from home.

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Headlining the Super Sunday fixtures is of course the Egyptian derby, as 2019 champions, Zamalek will be looking at ending the continental trophy drought when they take on newcomers, Modern Future FC in what promises to be a highly entertaining affair.

 

CAF Champions League Quarter-Final Fixtures:

Friday, 29 March

18h00 GMT | Simba SC v Al Ahly SC

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Saturday, 30 March

13h00 GMT | TP Mazembe v Atletico Petroleos

18h00 GMT | Young Africans v Mamelodi Sundowns

21h00 GMT | Esperance v Asec Mimosas

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CAF Confederation Cup Quarter-Finals Fixtures: 

Sunday, 31 March | First Leg Fixtures

16h00 GMT | Rivers United FC v USM Alger

17h00 GMT | Stade Malien v Dreams FC

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19h00 GMT | Abu Salim SC v RS Berkane

19h00 GMT | Future FC v Zamalek SC

-CAF

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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CAF Champions League

CAF Champions League narrows to four teams

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CAF Champions League Quarter-Finals journey mapped out

From the original 54 teams from 42 countries that began the race last year, the CAF Champions League has now narrowed to four teams as a whopping 50 have been eliminated.

The four elite clubs in the semi-finals are Al Ahly of Egypt, Esperance Sportive de Tunis of Tunisia, South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns and TP Mazembe of DR Congo.

Title holders and record champions Al Ahly are still on track to defend their title as they beat Simba SC in Cairo to secure their place while four-time winners Esperance Sportive de Tunis were made to labour hard against Asec Mimosas of Cote d’Ivoire.

The reigning African Football League (“AFL”) Champions and 2025/16 winners Mamelodi Sundowns were pushed to the end by Tanzania’s Young Africans in South Africa.

Five-time winners TP Mazembe of DR Congo pulled one of the best performances this weekend with a 2-1 away win over Atletico Petroleos of Luanda after the first leg ended goalless.

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The semis will be played on home and away basis on 19-20 April 2024 (first leg) with the Second Leg scheduled for 26-27 April 2024.

In the first semi-final, Al Ahly (Egypt) will play TP Mazembe (DR Congo) in what promises to be a thrilling encounter.  Esperance Sportive de Tunis will play Mamelodi Sundowns in the second semi-final.

CAF will announce the dates and kick-off dates in due course.

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CAF Champions League

Ahly Edge Closer To CL Semifinals With Narrow Victory Over Simba –

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Ahly Edge Closer To CL Semifinals With Narrow Victory Over Simba -

Egyptian giants Ahly took a significant stride towards securing a spot in the CAF Champions League semifinals following their hard-fought 1-0 win against Tanzania’s Simba on Friday, thanks to an early goal by midfielder Ahmed “Koka” Nabil.

Right from the start, the hosts launched relentless attacks, aiming to find an early breakthrough. However, Ahly’s resolute and well-organized defense thwarted all of their attempts.

Simba’s first notable chance came when midfielder Sadio Kanouté headed a cross from Clatous Chama following a corner, but his effort sailed over the bar from close range.

Just four minutes into the game, Ahly defender Mohamed Hany found himself in possession on the right side of Simba’s field. He cut inside and delivered a cross that was mishandled by the defense, leading to a powerful shot from Koka. The ball ricocheted off the head of the Simba goalkeeper, struck the post, and ultimately found the back of the net.

Despite Simba’s control of the match, as they pushed forward in search of an equalizer, Ahly’s solid defense and the heroics of goalkeeper Mostafa Shobier denied them any scoring opportunities. Ahly relied on swift counterattacks but their attempts to extend their lead fell short.

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Shobier produced a magnificent save in the 39th minute, blocking Che Malone’s right-footed shot from the center of the box. He came to the rescue again just before halftime, denying Sadio Kanouté’s right-footed shot from the right side of the box and turning it into a corner.

In injury time, Shobier made another brilliant save, stopping Saïdi Ntibazonkiza’s close-range effort, which rebounded to Shomari Kapombe, who shot the ball high over the bar.

In the second half, Simba continued to dominate proceedings but failed to find the equalizing goal despite their persistent efforts.

Ahly coach Marcel Koller made a tactical double substitution in the 67th minute, introducing Reda Slim for Hussein El-Shahat and Taher Mohamed Taher in place of Percy Tau.

The move injected new energy into Ahly’s attack, with the Moroccan talisman creating two opportunities for the Red Devils.

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Koller later made another double substitution, bringing on Kahraba for Modeste and Afsha for Attia.

In injury time, Kahraba had a chance to extend Ahly’s lead when he received a long ball from Afsha, but he struggled to control it. A minute later, Kahraba received a cross from Slim and entered the box, but once again his finishing touch eluded him.

With this narrow victory, Ahly now hold the advantage and move closer to securing a spot in the semifinals, with the second leg taking place in Cairo on Friday.

-Ahram

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CAF Champions League

Oldest Club In Tunisia Looking At Reclaiming Continental Glory –

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Oldest Club In Tunisia Looking At Reclaiming Continental Glory -
  • Esperance Sportive de Tunis celebrating 105 years of existence
  • Four continental titles to their name and looking to add their fifth
  • Miguel Cardoso to possibly end continental trophy drought

 

It has been almost five years since Tunisian giants, Esperance Sportive de Tunis tasted continental success when they lifted the CAF Champions League trophy.

What was their fifth CAF Champions League title, has since been their last and for their high standards, this is something the Tunisians will be looking at overturning this season, starting with the two-legged Quarter-Finals clash with former champions Asec Mimosas of Cote d’Ivoire.

With more than a 100-year history, the oldest club in Tunisia famous for its red and yellow is certainly one to look out for in this season’s edition of the CAF Champions League as they kick start their knockout stage on Friday 29 March with the return leg in Abidjan scheduled for 05 April.

Brief History

Esperance Sportive de Tunis was formed in 1919 and is regarded as the oldest football club in Tunisia, with 105 years to their rich history. They play their home matches at the Stade Hammadi Agrebi in Brades which boasts 60 000 capacity seating.

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Local titles

Esperance Tunis is considered the most decorated club in Tunisia, having won the local league title 32 times, the Tunisian Cup 15 times, and the Tunisian Super Cup 6 times.

Continental journey

The Tunisians have four CAF Champions League titles as well as one CAF Super Cup which dates back to 1995.

 

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Coach: Miguel Cardoso

Esperance appointed Portuguese coach, Miguel Cardoso in January. The 51-year-old brings a wealth of experience to the club, having worked in several clubs as an assistant coach. These include Braga SC, Sporting Lisbon, Deportivo La Coruña and Shakhtar Donetsk.

 

Key player: Mohamed Amin Tougai

The Algerian defender, Mohamed Amine Tougai, is considered the pillar of strength in the Tunisian defense since joining the club back in 2019. Strong and good in arial duels, Tougai will be instrumental in helping his team keep clean sheets in these crucial stages of the competition.

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-CAF

 

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