Holders Ahly, rivals Zamalek face tough challenges in Champions League group stage

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Tuesday 28 Dec 2021

Egypt duo Ahly and Zamalek will be facing tough challenges in the African Champions League, as the group stage draw revealed on Tuesday.

Zamalek eliminated Tunisia s Esperance from the Champions League quarters last season

Holders Ahly were drawn in Group A alongside Al-Merrikh (Sudan), El-Hilal (Sudan) and Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa).

Meanwhile, Zamalek came in the fourth group alongside GD Sagrada Esperança (Angola), Atletico Petroleos (Angola) and Wydad AC (Morocco).

Both the draws of the Champions League and the Confederation Cup were held at the CAF headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.

Ahly won their 10th-ever Champions League title after beating South African side Kaizer Chiefs 3-0 in the last edition’s final on 17 July.

On the other side, the five-time winners Zamalek were eliminated from the group stage at the same edition.

Ahly and Zamalek games

The group stage matches will start from 11 February untill 2 April.

Ahly will host Merrikh in the group stage opener on 11 or 12 February, while the Reds will visit El-Hilal in the second round on 18 or 19 of the same month.

In the third round Ahly will face Mamelodi Sundowns at home on 25 or 26 February before being hosted by the same opponent in the fourth round on 11 or 12 March.

Ahly will be hosted by Merrikh in the fifth round on 18 or 19 March, while the Cairo giants will be hosting El-Hilal in the last round on 1 or 2 April.

Zamalek’s opening game will be against Atletico Petroleos on 11 or 12 February before facing GD Sagrada Esperança away in the second round on 18 or 19 February.

In the third round, the Whites will face Wydad A.C on 25 or 26 February before hosting the Moroccans again in the fourth round on 11 or 12 March.

Atletico Petroleos will host Zamalek in the fifth round on 18 or 19 March, while the Cairo giants will play the final round at home against GD Sagrada Esperança on 1 or 2 April.

The full draw of the Champions League group stage was as follows:

Group A: Al Merrikh (Sudan), El Hilal (Sudan), Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa), Ahly SC (Egypt).

Group B: AmaZulu FC (South Africa), ES Sétif (Algeria), Horoya AC (Guinea), Raja C.A (Morocco).

Group C: Jwaneng Galaxy FC (Botswana), CR Belouizdad (Algeria), Etoile Sportive du Sahel (Tunisia), Esperance Sportive de Tunis (Tunisia).

Group D: GD Sagrada Esperança (Angola), Atletico Petroleos (Angola), Zamalek (Egypt), Wydad A.C (Morocco).

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