Egypt's Ahly, Zamalek face tough challenges in African Champions League

Ahram Online , Monday 20 Feb 2017

File Photo: Zamalek Vs Sundown (AFP)

Egyptian giants Ahly will play South African team Bidvest Wits on the 11th of March, while Zamalek will play Nigerian Premier League winners Enugu Rangers between the 10th and 12th of March in the first round of the African Champions League.

Ahly - who have won a record of eight titles - and five-time champions Zamalek both received a bye to the first round along with seven other teams and will play teams that have advanced from the preliminary round.

Bidvest Wits, runners-up in the South African Premier Division, advanced to this round after beating Saint Louisienne of Reunion 4-3 on aggregate.

Enugu Rangers advanced after a goalless draw at home to JS Saoura was enough to see them through after drawing 1-1 in Algeria.

The winners of the ties will advance to the group stage of the African Champions League, while the losers enter the Confederation Cup play-off round.

Starting from this season, the number of qualifying rounds was reduced from three to two while the group stage was expanded from eight to 16 teams, divided into four groups of four.

Both Egyptian teams will play the first leg at home with the away matches set to be held between the 17th and 19th of March.

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