Top Six: Mouth-watering Caf Champions League clashes

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  1. Hearts of Oak
    Goal Ghana

    Hearts of Oak vs Wydad Casablanca

    Hearts of Oak enjoyed the rub of the green in the previous round, as domestic political turmoil in Guinea ensured that they only needed to play the second leg—at home—and duly progressed with a 2-0 triumph over CI Kamsar.

    They’re in a much trickier spot in the Second Round, as they face a two-legged showdown with Morocco giants Wydad Casablanca.

    Despite home advantage, the Phobians required a late intervention from substitutes to edge past the Guineans; that certainly won’t be sufficient against Wydad.

  2. WILLIAM WADRI-BOLAJI SAKIN of Horoya AC vs HASSAN ABDALLAH of Bandari FC.
    Goal Kenya.

    Stade Malien vs Horoya

    Stade Malien downed AS Sonabel in the previous round, winning 3-0 to set up a Second Round meeting with Horoya AC.

    These two are both fallen giants of the African game, having won Africa’s secondary club competition in 1978 (Horoya) and 2009 (Stade Malien).

    They’ve both fallen far from those previous heights, and aren’t realistic contenders this time around, but would each love the chance to make their mark in the group stage.

  3. Pitso Mosimane
    Backpagepix

    USGN vs Al-Ahly

    This is the biggest mismatch of the Second Round, although don’t hold your breath for a giant-killing.

    USGN of Niger only narrowly beat Le Messager Ngozi of Burundi in the previous round, drawing 1-1 at home before a 1-0 away win, and could risk being overwhelmed by Africa’s biggest club.

    They may be Niger’s double-winners last season, but a meeting with Pitso Mosimane’s African champions is the biggest match in the club’s history.

  4. Tusker celebrate Charles Momanyo and Eugine Asike.
    Tusker.

    Tusker vs SC Zamalek

    AS Arta Sola and Alex Song’s premature exit from the Champions League contrasted sharply with Tusker’s joy as they progressed to the next round to set up a knockout showdown with Zamalek.

    Their joy may be short-lived.

    Admittedly, Zamalek haven’t won the competition in two decades, and they were dumped out in the group stage last term, but having won the Egyptian league since, they’ll be keen to go the distance this time around.

    Shami Kibwana, Ibrahim Joshua and Deogratius Ojok were the heroes as Tusker progressed past Arta Sola…can they repeat the trick against much tougher opponents?

  5. Thatayaone Ditlhokwe, Siphelele Mthembu, Jesse Donn, AmaZulu vs SuperSport United, September 2021
    Backpagepix

    AmaZulu vs TP Mazembe

    AmaZulu’s memorable run in the Caf Champions League may prove to be brief unless Benni McCarthy can mastermind a way past Congolese giants TP Mazembe.

    The Lubumbashi giants are one of the most successful sides in the competition’s history, whereas AmaZulu were defeated at home by Malawi’s Nyasa Big Bullets in the previous round before bouncing back away from home.

    “I’m just happy for the players that they were able to overturn the deficit and show great maturity, experience and desire that we maybe lacked when we were at home,” McCarthy told journalists after the match.

    They’ll need improvement—and fast—if they’re to make the group stage.

  6. Young Africans vs Rivers United.
    Yanga SC.

    Rivers United vs Al Hilal

    Nigeria’s last team standing—Rivers United defeated Young Africans of Tanzania 2-0 on aggregate in the previous round.

    This was a thoroughly impressive showing, with 1-0 victories in each leg providing evidence of Rivers’ grit and obduracy on the road.

    Al Hilal will be a much tougher prospect—these guys are African royalty—but the NPFL boys may be quietly confident that, with luck on their side, they could oust the Sudanese heavyweights—who conceded three times against Ethiopia’s Fasil Kenema in the previous round.