Football

Eight African giants vying for the four Champions League semi-final spots

The four quarter-final second legs in the CAF Champions League are to be held on Saturday to determine this year's semi-finalists.

0
Eight African giants vying for the four Champions League semi-final spots
AMR ABDALLAH DALSH REUTERS

The four seconds legs in the CAF Champions League quarter-finals are set to be played on Saturday with the reigning champions Al Ahly having secured a 2-0 advantage against Mamelodi Sundowns, whom they are facing in the last eight for the third time in a row.

In 2018, the record nine-time African champions endured a heavy defeat to the South Africans when they lost 5-1 on aggregate, before the Egyptians avenged that loss a year later as they beat Sundowns 3-1 in the quarter-finals on their way to being crowned champions. The Red Devils are hoping to keep their lead in the away fixture to secure their berth in the semi-finals and continue to defend their favorite title.

Wydad Casablanca know the road to the semi-finals

Since the amendment of the tournament's system, and resorting to knockout stages, Wydad Casablanca have been one of the most frequent semi-finalists in recent years. The 2017 champions lost last year's semi-final at the hands of the eventual champions Al Ahly, while this year they seem close to securing their spot in the last four after they snatched a 1-1 away draw with MC Alger, who are dreaming of a historic semi-final qualification with a win or a draw in Casablanca.

Meanwhile, Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa are one step away from making history following their landslide 4-0 victory over Simba of Tanzania in the first leg. The Tanzanian team's mission in the return leg seems impossible, while the South Africans are poised to reach the semi-finals for the first time in their history as they have never previously made it further than the competition's round of 16.

Algerians CR Belouizdad are very close to making their first-ever semi-final appearance as they snatched a 2-0 advantage at home in the first leg against the 2018 and 2019 champions Esperance Sportive de Tunis, whose mission is difficult, yet not impossible given their history and experience in the continental tournament.