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Sundowns pitted against Pitso and Ahly again in Champions League draw

Al Ahly head coach Pitso Mosimane.
Al Ahly head coach Pitso Mosimane.
Image: REUTERS/Ibraheem Al Omari

Mamelodi Sundowns have been pitted with 10-time champions Al Ahly in the 2021-22 Caf Champions League group stage.

Downs’ coaching trio of Manqoba Mngqithi, Rulani Mokwena and Steve Komphela will again pit their wits against predecessor and now coach of Ahly Pitso Mosimane in group A, along with the two tough Sudanese clubs, Al Hilal and Al Merrikh.

First-time competitors in the Champions League AmaZulu were drawn with reigning Confederation Cup champions Raja Casablanca of Morocco, Guinea’s Horoya and ES Sétif of Algeria in group B.

This will be the fourth season running that Downs and Ahly meet in the Champions League after three straight quarterfinal appearances.

In the last two seasons (2019-20 and 2020-21), Downs lost twice against Ahly in the quarters, by a carbon copy 3-1 aggregate scoreline.

The season before that (2018-19), Mosimane’s Downs beat Ahly 5-1 on aggregate, including a stunning 5-0 home thrashing, also in the quarters.

Ironically, it was three-time Champions League winner Mosimane — chosen by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to headline the draw — who picked his current club, Ahly, and ex-side Sundowns from pots 1 and 2 to meet in group A.

Mosimane won the 2016 Champions League with Sundowns, then ended a seven-year drought in the competition for Ahly by winning the 2019-20 competition from the semifinal stage. He defended the trophy with the Cairo giants in 2020-21.

In the Caf Confederation Cup 2015, finalists Orlando Pirates were drawn with JS Kabylie of Algeria or Royal Leopards of Eswatini, JS Saoura of Algeria and Libya’s Al Ittihad in Group B.

2021-22 Caf Champions group stage draw:

  • Group A: Al Ahly (Egypt), Mamelodi Sundowns (SA), Al Hilal (Sudan), Al Merrikh (Sudan)
  • Group B: Raja Casablanca (Morocco), Horoya (Guinea), ES Sétif (Algeria) AmaZulu (SA)
  • Group C: Espérance de Tunis (Tunisia), Étoile du Sahel (Tunisia), CR Belouizdad (Algeria), Jwaneng Galaxy (Botswana)
  • Group D: Wydad Athletic (Morocco), Zamalek (Egypt), Petro Atletico (Angola), Sagrada Esperança (Angola)

2021-22 Caf Confederation Cup group stage draw:

  • Group A: Pyramids (Egypt), CS Sfaxien (Tunisia), Zanaco (Zambia), Ahly Tripoli (Libya)
  • Group B: JS Kabylie (Algeria) or Royal Leopards (Eswatini), Orlando Pirates (SA), JS Saoura (Algeria), Al Ittihad (Libya)
  • Group C: TP Mazembe (DR Congo), Coton Sport, Cameroon, Al Masry (Egypt), AS Otoho (Congo)
  • Group D: RS Berkane (Morocco), ASEC Mimosas (Ivory Coast), Simba (Tanzania), USGN (Niger)


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