Kenyan football sides Bandari and Gor Mahia will have to wait until Wednesday to confirm their opponents in the CAF Confederations Cup tournament.
Gor Mahia dropped to the second tier of Africa’s premier club competition, after losing 2-0 to Algerian side USM Alger while Bandari progressed to the play-off stage after edging out Tunisia’s US Ben Guerdane.
Bernard Mwalala, Bandari’s coach said his team is growing in confidence and stature and hope to do well in the tournament.
“We have been working very hard on our finishing and I’m glad it has started paying off. However, there’s room for improvement, we have to do better in the final third,” said Mwalala.
With the men separated from the boys, the stage is set for the draw for the group stage, which will take place on Wednesday in Cairo, Egypt. Both Gor Mahia and Bandari will be in two different pots during the draw.
In the Africa’s CAF Champions League draw, nine teams who have lifted the premier African club football title at least once including holders Esperance of Tunisia are among the teams through.
Esperance survived a scare from Chadian opponents Elect Sport, coming from behind to win 2-1, and 3-2 on aggregate to achieve a fourth successive appearance at the group stage.
They are joined by compatriots Etoile du Sahel, who despite finishing with ten men overturned a 2-0 loss from the leg against Ghana’s Asante Kotoko, beat the latter 3-0 in Monastir to go through.
South African champions, Mamelodi Sundowns, winners in 2016 made the biggest headlines, with a 11-1 drubbing of Cote d’Or of Seychelles, a result which went into history as the biggest ever in the history of the competition.
Moroccan duo, Raja Club Athletic and Wydad Athletic Club, both former winners, are also through.
The last time the two sides were at the group stage together was in 2011, with Wydad going all the way to the final before losing to Esperance 1-0 on aggregate.
After an eight-year absence, JS Kabylie of Algeria, winners in 1981 and 1990, are back to the group stage, joined by rivals, USM Alger, losing finalists in 2015.
Five-time champions, TP Mazembe from DR Congo made light work of Fosa Juniors of Madagascar with a 3-1 to seal their third successive group stage berth.
And they have company in eternal rivals and 1973 winners, AS Vita, who also made it three in a row at the last 16.
Record eight-time winners, Al Ahly of Egypt have qualified for the group stage for the fifth season on the trot. They achieved the feat after beating Equatoguineans Cano Sport 4-0 to complete a double 6-0 on aggregate.
Away from former winners, Angola has two representatives in rivals, Petro Atletico and Primeiro de Agosto whilst El Hilal (Sudan), FC Platinum (Zimbabwe) and Zesco United (Zambia) complete the list.
The final slot between Zamalek (Egypt) and Generation Foot (Senegal) will be decided after a meeting by the relevant CAF body in the coming days. Enditem