CAF: Rivers, Plateau, Kwara handed tricky ties

Date: 2022-08-10

Following the conclusion of the draws for the CAF competitions, Nigerian clubs have been handed tough fixtures as they hope to make it to the group stages of the continental competitions, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

At a draw conducted on Tuesday in Cairo, the 2022/23 CAF Champions League draw had Nigeria Professional Football League champions, Rivers United, pitted against Liberia’s Watanga FC over two legs in the first round of the preliminary stage.

While the Liberian champions are no pushovers, Rivers United are favourites to go through as they hope to make their first appearance in the group stage of the continent’s premier club competition.

The Pride of Rivers, as they are fondly called, saw their chances of making it to the group stage of the competition halted last season by Sudan’s Al Hilal, having defeated Tanzania’s Young Africans on aggregate in the opening round.

An even more difficult challenge awaits the winners of the Rivers versus Watanga FC clash.

The winner of the fixture will meet champions Wydad Athletic Club of Morocco for a place in the group stage.

Nigeria’s second representatives, Plateau United, clash with Gabon’s AS Mandji in the first round.

If the Jos-based side advance to the second round, they will battle with former winners Esperance du Tunis, for a group stage spot.

As the reigning champions, Wydad are one of six teams given a bye into the second qualifying round of the 2022/23 tournament, billed for October.

Africa’s most successful side Al Ahly of Egypt and 2016 African champions Mamelodi Sundowns from South Africa also go straight into the second round.

The other teams who skipped the first round are Tunisia’s Esperance, who are four-time winners, DR Congo’s TP Mazembe and three-time champions Raja Casablanca of Morocco.

Kwara United will face Niger’s AS Douanes in the second round of qualifying of CAF’s second-tier club competition Confederation Cup.

The Nigerians host the first leg between September 9 and 11, while the second leg will hold between September 16 and 18.

A win for the Ilorin-based club also pits them against a very tough opposition in the form of holders RS Berkane of Morocco for a place in the group stage.

Five other clubs were also given byes, including three-time champions CS Sfaxien of Tunisia and Tanzania’s Azam FC.

Source

 


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