Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Africa: can TP Mazembe and Stade Malien defend their titles?

Posted in African Football by peterbein on March 19, 2010
TP Mazembe Champions of Africa

Tresor Mputu lifts the CAF Champions League trophy in 2009. Can they defend their crown in 2010?

African football’s two main competitions are back this weekend. The CAF Champions League still retains a format similar to the UEFA Champions League in its early days; one preliminary round followed by the tournament proper with two knockout rounds followed by a group stage with two groups of four teams. From there the top two of each group go through to the two-leg semi-finals with the winners of that round competing in a two-legged final to be played in November. The CAF Confederation Cup is Africa’s version of the UEFA Europa League or the Copa Sudamericana in South America. This is very much a “best of the rest” tournament but it has grown steadily in importance since its inception in 2004 as it provides a chance of glory for those second-tier teams in Africa. The tournament follows exactly the same format as the CAF Champions League and is also due to finish in November although dates for the final haven’t officially been announced yet.

In the first round proper of the CAF Champions League TP Mazembe will hope to begin their title defence by beating Rwandan side APR FC and the three time African champions from the Democratic Republic of Congo are firm favourites to go through. In the rest of the first round draw there are no fewer than eight former African champions who are hoping to progress to the second round and four of them face-off in two separate matches: Club Africain from Tunisia, the 1991 champions, meet Algerians JS Kabylie who have triumphed twice in this competition (1981, 1990) and Union Douala from Cameroon, the 1979 champions, play against ES Sétif from Algeria, who won their only Champions League to date in 1988. Record champions Al Ahly of Egypt face a difficult first round match against Gunners FC from Zimbabwe but the six-time African champions, who last won this tournament in 2008, will fancy their chances. Here is the full draw for the CAF Champions Cup first round (countries in brackets):

APR FC (Rwnada) v TP Mazembe (DR Congo)

Djoliba (Mali) v ASC Linguère (Senegal)

Ismaily SC (Egypt) v US Stade Tamponnaise (Réunion)

Africa Sports (Ivory Coast) v Al-Hilal Omdurman (Sudan)

Raja Casablanca (Morocco) v Atlético Petróleos (Angola)

Club Africain (Tunisia) v JS Kabylie (Algeria)

Gazelle FC (Chad) v Al-Merreikh (Sudan)

Espérance ST (Tunisia) v ASFA Yennega (Burkina Faso)

Curepipe Starlight (Mauritis) v Gaborone United (Botswana)

Saint Eloi Lupopo (DR Congo) v Dynamos (Zimbabwe)

Gunners FC (Zimbabwe) v Al Ahly (Egypt)

Ittihad (Libya) v Difaa El Jadida (Morocco)

Zanaco (Zambia) v ASEC Mimosas (Ivory Coast)

Union Douala (Cameroon) v ES Sétif (Algeria)

Tiko United (Cameroon) v Heartland (Nigeria)

SuperSport United (South Africa) v Ferroviário Maputo (Mozambique)

CAF Confederation Cup

Stade Malien won the 2009 CAF Confederation Cup. Can they retain their title in 2010?

In the first round proper of the CAF Confederation Cup all of the trophy’s previous winners bar one will take part lending some gravitas to the second club competition of Africa. The only previous winner not to be taking part is the inaugural winner from 2004 Hearts of Oak from Ghana. The defending champions Stade Malien will begin their defence against Ivorian side Séwé Sports. Among the ties the only two-time winner so far CS Sfaxien from Tunisia are against Libyan side Ahly Tripoli whilst other former Confederation Cup winners FAR Rabat and Étoile Sahel face-off against CR Belouizdad and ASFAN respectively. Here is the full draw (countries in brackets):

CAPS United (Zimbabwe) v Moroka Swallows (South Africa)

Warri Wolves (Nigeria) v ZESCO United (Zambia)

CR Belouizdad (Algeria) v FAR Rabat (Morocco)

Amal (Sudan) v Costa do Sol (Mozambique)

Ahly Tripoli (Libya) v CS Sfaxien (Tunisia)

Petrojet (Egypt) v Khartoum FC (Sudan)

Séwé Sports (Ivory Coast) v Stade Malien (Mali)

Baraka (Guinea) v FUS Rabat (Morocco)

Académica Petróleo (Angola) v Enyimba (Nigeria)

Panthère du Ndé (Cameroon) v AS Vita Club (DR Congo)

CO Bamako (Mali) v Primeiro de Agosto (Angola)

AC Léopard (Congo) v Cotonsport (Cameroon)

Banks (Ethiopia) v Haras El Hadood (Egypt)

Lengthens FC (Zimbabwe) v Simba (Tanzania)

DC Motema Pembe (DR Congo) v FC 105 Libreville (Gabon)

ASFAN (Niger) v Étoile Sahel (Tunisia)

All first round ties in both competitions to be played on the weekends of March 19-21 (1st leg) and 2-4 April (2nd leg)

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