The 2021/2022 TotalEnergies CAF Champions League group stage draw took place this Tuesday at CAF headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.
Benni McCarthy’s AmaZulu entered the draw as one of three unranked sides in Pot 4 – and faced a potentially nightmare scenario in the 16-team group phase.
However, the footballing gods smiled on Usuthu who were drawn in Group B alongside the worst-ranked side in Pot 1 (Morocco’s Raja Casablanca), the second-worst side in Pot 2 (Guinea’s Horoya FC) and the worst side in Pot 3 (ES Setif of Algeria).
Contrast that with the fortune that befell South Africa’s other side still in the tournament, Mamelodi Sundowns.
Masandawana were in Pot 2 – and drew the best side in Pot 1 (Al Ahly), the best side in Pot 3 (Al-Hilal FC) and the only ranked side in Pot 4 (Al-Merrikh SC)!
That meansMamelodi Sundowns will come face-to-face with former coach Pitso Mosimane in the group stages.
Only the group winners and runners-up will qualify for quarter-finals.
Group A: Al Ahly (EGY, holders), Mamelodi Sundowns (RSA), Al Hilal, Al Merrikh (both SUD)
Group B: Raja Casablanca (MAR), Horoya FC (GUI), ES Setif (ALG), AmaZulu (RSA)
Group C: Esperance, Etoile Sahel (both TUN), Chabab Belouizdad (ALG), Jwaneng Galaxy (BOT)
Group D: Wydad Casablanca (MAR), Zamalek (EGY), Petro Atletico, Sagrada Esperanca (both ANG)
Matchdays: February 11-12, 18-19, 25-26, Marh 11-12, 18-19, April 1-2