Caf Champions League: Cape Town City get Congo’s AS Otoho, Mamelodi Sundowns exempted from preliminary round

Themba Zwane, Mamelodi Sundowns & Fabrice Ambina, Cape Town City, August 2022 Backpagepix

PSL champions Mamelodi Sundowns have been exempted from the Caf Champions League preliminary round while, Cape Town City have a date with AS Otoho from Congo Brazzaville following Tuesday’s draw.

Sundowns, who were knocked out of the Champions League by Angola’s Petro Atletico at the quarter-final stage last season, were among six African giants that received a bye with holders Wydad Casablanca, their local rivals Raja Casablanca, last season’s finalists Al Ahly, Esperance (Tunisia) and TP Mazembe (DR Congo) the other sides.

The Brazilians will play against the winners of the preliminary round tie between Volcan Club (Comoros) and La Passs FC (Seychelles).

Sundowns won a domestic treble of league, Nedbank Cup and MTN8 but their season was still seen as not so successful by a section of their fans after failing to reach the latter stages of the continental competition and they will be seeking a positive start this season.

Meanwhile, Cape Town City, second in the PSL last season, will be featuring in the Champions League for the first time and will be heavily tested by Congolese champions AS Otoho who will be making a fifth straight appearance in Africa’s premier club competition.

Otoho have only gone past the preliminary round on two occasions (first round 2019) and (second round 2022) and their experience should be a cause for worry for the Mother City outfit.

Should Eric Tinkler's charges overcome the Congolese side over two legs, they will face the winners of the preliminary round tie between Associacao Black Bulls of Mozambique and Sundowns' conquerors Petro Atletico.

In the Caf Confederation Cup, Marumo Gallants have been exempted from the first round in what will be their second straight season in the second-tier club competition.

Gallants qualified for the Confederation Cup by virtue of reaching the Nedbank Cup final, despite losing to Sundwons, since the Brazilians had already secured qualification for the Champions League.

They crashed out in the second-round last season after losing 1-0 on aggregate to TP Mazembe but they have a chance to right those wrongs when they take on the winners between PWD Bamenda of Cameroon and Elgeco Plus (Madagascar) at the same stage this year.

Newcomers Royal AM, who finished third in the PSL, will start their Confederation Cup campaign in the first round and have been drawn against MB Highlanders (Eswatini) with a date against Zambian side Zesco United awaiting them in the second round should they make it.

The first round of the opening legs of both competitions will take place from September 9-11 with the second leg being played between September 16 and 18. The second round first legs are scheduled for October 7-9 and the second legs a week later.

Caf draw

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