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CAF Confederation Cup: Pool stage teams

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The draw for the pool stages of the African Confederation Cup will take place in Cairo on 26 April, with 16 sides taking their place in the round-robin phase of the expanded format, many for the first time.

Fifteen of those teams are now known, with only the tie between Nigerian side Rivers United and Rayon Sports of Rwanda still to be concluded.

United lead 2-0 from their home leg, with the return on Saturday in Kigali.

ALSO READ: Caf Champions League pool stage teams

KweséSports gives some insight into the teams that have been confirmed for the pool stages so far.

AL-HILAL AL-UBAYYID (SUDAN)

Previous wins (0): None

Not to be confused with the more famous Al-Hilal club from Omdurman in Sudan, Al-Hilal of Al-Ubayyid are appearing in African club competition for the first time in their 86-year history.

Their place was gained after finishing fourth in the Sudanese Premier League last year and three strong home performances in the Confederation Cup this season have been the cornerstone of their progression through the competition. They defeated Gambia Ports Authority in the last round.

CF MOUNANA (GABON)

Previous wins (0): None

Centre de Formation de Mounana are a relatively new club having been formed in 2006, and within six years had claimed their first Gabonese domestic league title, a feat they repeated in the 2015/16 season.

They have so far battled to make an impact on the continental stage, though, and are in the pool stages of a CAF club competition for the first time, their place confirmed with a fine 2-1 aggregate victory over ASEC Mimosas of the Côte d’Ivoire.

CLUB AFRICAIN (TUNISIA)

Previous wins (0): None

Tunisian sides have won five of the 13 Confederation Cups played, the most by any country, but Club Africain have yet to break their duck despite a rich history of success.

They came close in 2011 when they lost to MAS Fez from Morocco in the final.

They will certainly be among the favourites this year and romped into the group stages with a 6-3 aggregate win over Mauritian side AS Port-Louis 2000.

They have never lost a home game in the Confederation Cup in 18 matches and earlier this season smashed Sierra Leone side Armed Forces 9-1.

CS SFAXIEN (TUNISIA)

Previous wins (3): 2007, 2008, 2013

The undisputed ‘kings’ of the Confederation Cup, Club Sportif Sfaxien’s previous five appearances in the competition have yielded a record three trophy wins and a runners-up spot in 2010.

Their only blemish was in 2012 when they exited in the first round, and they are back in the group stages this year as arguably the team to beat.

FUS RABAT (MOROCCO)

Previous wins (1): 2010

Fath Union Sport de Rabat won the Confederation Cup in 2010 and were also semi-finalists last year, suggesting they are genuine contenders for the trophy this season.

They defeated compatriots MAS Fez 3-2 on aggregate in the last round, but have had a poor domestic season and find themselves in mid-table in the Botola Pro with just seven wins from 22 matches.

Their African campaigns are built on a strong home record, having lost just two of their 30 matches in front of their home fans to date in both continental competitions.

HOROYA AC (GUINEA)

Previous wins (0): None

Horoya Athlétique Club are appearing in the Confederation Cup for the first time and have had little success on the African continent in the past bar a win in the now defunct African Cup Winners’ Cup almost 40 years ago.

They are unbeaten in their domestic championship this year and head the Ligue 1 table, having also claimed the title last season.

They dropped into the Confederation Cup from the Champions League this campaign after a loss to Tunisian side Esperance, and defeated IR Tanger of Morocco to book their place in the pool stages.

KCCA (UGANDA)

Previous wins (0): None

Kampala Capital City Authority appear in the pool stages of an African club competition for the first time, having seen off the challenge of Egyptian side Al-Masry.

They were narrowly ousted from the Champions League competition this season by holders Mamelodi Sundowns, and have proven themselves a competitive side both home and away.

MBABANE SWALLOWS (SWAZILAND)

Previous wins (0): None

Swallows have made the pool stages of an African club competition having only made it past the preliminary stages on one occasion, some 22 years ago, in eight previous attempts.

After defeating Botswana side Orapa United 4-2 on aggregate in the preliminary round this year, Swallows stunned Tanzanian outfit Azam FC 3-1 over two legs, and then edged top Congo-Brazzaville side AC Leopards 4-3 in the playoff round for a stunning success and arguably the greatest moment in the club’s history.

MC ALGER (ALGERIA)

Previous wins (0): None

The Algerian side had never made it past the first round of the competition in their three previous showings, but booked a group stage place by dispatching Tanzanian outfit Young Africans 4-1 on aggregate.

That was despite a 1-0 away loss. The club are the cup holders in Algeria, and are previous winners of the Champions League competition, though that was all the way back in 1976.


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PLATINUM STARS (SOUTH AFRICA)

Previous wins (0): None

Stars are at this stage of the competition for the first time in their history, having not competed on the continent since 2008.

Wins over União Desportiva do Songo (Mozambique), Vipers (Uganda) and AS Tanda (Côte d’Ivoire) to reach this stage.

Dikwena had a difficult first half of the South African season, but have shown much better form in 2017.

RECREATIVO DESPORTIVO DO LIBOLO (ANGOLA)

Previous wins (0): None

Recreativo are in the Confederation Cup group stages for the first time, but did make the pool phase of the Champions League in 2013.

They have been in good form so far in 2017 and edged Cosafa rivals CNaPS Sport from Madagascar in the last round on the away goals rule. They will be tough to beat in Libolo.

SMOUHA (EGYPY)

Previous wins (0): None

Smouha have been in existence for 68 years, but have only really been a force in Egyptian football in the last few seasons having finished runners-up in the Premier League and domestic cup in 2013/14.

They booked their place in the Confederation Cup this year with a third-place finish last season and did well to defeat high-flying South African side BidVest Wits in the last round.

SUPERSPORT UNITED (SOUTH AFRICA)

Previous wins (0): None

The South African cup holders have reached the pool stages of this competition for the first time in their history at the fifth attempt.

United have tended to blow hot and cold this year, but reached this stage with wins over ASSM Elgeco Plus (Madagascar), Al Ahly Shendi (Sudan) and Barrack Young Controllers (Liberia).

TP MAZEMBE (DR CONGO)

Previous wins (1): 2016

There is no doubt that the current Confederation Cup holders will be desperately disappointed to find themselves back in the competition this year with their ambitions always centered around the Champions League.

But for the second year running they failed to make the pool stages of that tournament and can now have a tilt at defending their title in the continent’s secondary club competition.

Few would bet against them doing it either, even if they have gone through a period of some turmoil in recent months.

ZESCO UNITED (ZAMBIA)

Previous wins (0): None

Last year’s Champions League semi-finalists ZESCO stormed into the Confederation Cup group stages with a 5-2 aggregate win over Nigerian side Enugu Rangers.

They have reached this stage of the competition for the first time in their history, and will be among the dark horses to go all the way.

 

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