Mamelodi Sundowns date Tanzania’s Young Africans in CAF Champions League quarterfinals; TP Mazembe against Angola’s Atletico de Petroleos

COSAFA sides Mamelodi Sundowns (top) and Atletico de Petroleos

* Tanzanian side Simba SC looking to stun record holders Al Ahly of Egypt

* Côte d’Ivoire’s Asec Mimosas date Tunisia’s Esperance Sportive de Tunis

Maravi Express

The CAF Champions League quarterfinals draw held in Cairo, Egypt pits Confederation of Southern African Football (COSAFA) sides, Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa up against Tanzania’s Young Africans and Angola’s Atletico de Petroleos against TP Mazembe of DR Congo.


The other quarterfinalists are Tanzanian side Simba SC, who will be looking to stun record holders Al Ahly of Egypt while Côte d’Ivoire’s Asec Mimosas date four-time champions and Tunisian powerhouse Esperance Sportive de Tunis.

This stage of the 2023-2024 edition promises to be highly entertaining fixtures and of the eight teams that have qualified, three are yet to taste continental success with Al Ahly having won 11 titles, TP Mazembe (5), Esperance (4), Asec Mimosas (1) and Mamelodi Sundowns (1) — who are also the 2023 African Football League champions.

Tanzanian giants, Simba FC are yet to taste continental success and will be looking at doing so at the expense of the defending champions, Al Ahly — who have stamped their authority in the competition.  

Just last week, Al Ahly were crowned Egyptian Cup winners for a record-extending 39th time after goals from Imam Ashour and Mohamed Afsha secured a 2-0 victory over bitter rivals Zamalek in Riyadh.

Yearning for continental glory since last tasting CAF Champions League success in 2015, TP Mazembe — who qualified for the group stages after ousting Malawi’s Nyasa Bullets — will prepare to welcome Angola’s Atletico de Petroleos to Lubumbashi in the first leg before travelling to Luanda for the return fixture.

Preliminary round match between TP Mazembe and Malawi’s Nyasa Big Bullets

The Angolans best run was in the 2021/22 season where their journey ended in the semifinals against eventual winners, Wydad Casablanca of Morocco.

The other Tanzanian giants, Young Africans — who fell short in last season’s CAF Confederation Cup final — are eyeing their first title and will have to contend with Mamelodi Sundowns, who are desperate to emulate their 2016 success when they lifted their first continental title.

Meanwhile, by virtue of their winning last year’s CAF Champions League, Al Ahly booked their ticket to the FIFA’s new 32-team club world cup tournament — the Mundial de Clubes FIFA — which makes its debut in the United States in 2025.

Al Ahly crowned Egyptian Cup winners last week

The other African side is Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca — runners-up of the 2022-2023 Champions League but qualified by virtue of their 2021/22 CAF Champions League triumph.

It remains with two remaining spot for Africa, which will go to the winners of the current 2023/24 Champions League campaign and the highest-ranked side based on FIFA’s club coefficient rankings.

South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns and Esperance of Tunisia are the only two clubs still in contention to claim that rankings spot should Al Ahly win this season’s CAF Champions League.

But they will have to wait to see who lifts the 2023-2024 CAF Champions League trophy, with Al Ahly safely through to the quarter-finals once again — and whatever happens, African football can look forward to a strong quartet of representatives at the inaugural Mundial de Clubes FIFA in just over a year’s time.—Info from CAFonline