The draw for the 2015 CAF Champions League on Tuesday May 5th saw all the three Algerian clubs drawn to face each other in the group stages.
MC El Eulma, USM Alger and reigning CAF Champions League title holders ES Setif put Tunisia in the history books as they became the first three clubs from one country to qualify for the last eight of Africa’s premier club competition.
The three will be joined by Sudanese Champions El Merreikh in a tough Group B. ES Setif scrapped through after getting past Moroccan side Raja Casablanca 4-1 on penalties, the two sides having drawn their first and return legs 2-2.
USM Alger, the defending Algerian League champions, secured their spot in the group stages by overcoming Guinean side Kaloum Star 3-2 over two legs in the second round while MC El Eulma stunned CS Sfaxien of Tunisia 7-6 on penalties to complete Algeria’s hat-trick in the last 8.
Sudanese side Al Merreikh, the home club of Kenyan attacker Allan Wanga, knocked out two-time winners Esperance of Tunisia on away goals and will be hoping to survive the three-prong Algerian challenge in the group.
In Group A, Congolese giants and 4-time winners TP Mazembe will be favorites to qualify to the semis in a group that also has record Sudan Premier League winners Al Hilal Omdurman, Moghreb Tetouan of Morocco and Egyptian surprise-package Smouha.
Al Hilal, three-time CAF Champions League semi-finalists beat DR Congo hopefuls Sanga Balende 1-0 on both legs for a 2-0 aggregate win to advance. Smouha overturned a 1-0 away defeat at AC Leopards winning the return leg 2-0 in an empty stadium to qualify while Moghreb Toutan knocked out record eight-time winners Al Ahly on penalties.
CAF Confederations Cup
In the CAF Confederations Cup play-offs draw, defending Champions Al Ahly whose drop from the superior Champions League competition led to the sacking of their manager, Spaniard Juan Carlos Garido, will face a mega battle against Tunisian side Club Africain. South Africa’s Orlando Pirates landed a fairly easily draw as they will clash with AS Kaloum of Guinea while Raja Casablanca, conquerors of Kaizer Chiefs will face Etoile du Sahel from Tunisia.
Ghana’s Hearts of Oak will face Tunisian side Esperance in a repeat of the 2000 CAF Champions League final which the Accra-based side won 5-2 on aggregate. Congolese sides AC Leopards and Sanga Balende will take on Nigeria’s Warri Wolves and Egyptian side Zamalek respectively.
Three-time winners CS Sfaxien will continue their hunt for a fourth title by playing Abidjan-based Asec Mimosas while 2009 winners Stade Malien from Mali face a tricky tie in the shape of AS Vita Club.
The first legs will be played on the weekend of May 15-17 with the return legs set for June 5-7.