Egypt's Ahly and Zamalek to face-off in CAF Champions League

Eslam Omar, Tuesday 14 May 2013

Ahly and Zamalek paired together in CAF Champions League group stage at Tuesday's draw in Cairo

Ahly and Zamalek
Ahmed Hassan of Egypt's Zamalek (C) fights for the ball with Egypt's Al Ahly Abdallah El Said (L) and Oussou Konan during their CAF Champions League derby soccer match at Borg El Arab "Army Stadium", west of the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, 230 km (143 miles) north of Cairo, September 16, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Egyptian rivals Ahly and Zamalek have been drawn in the same group in the CAF Champions League for the second successive year.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) held the draw on Tuesday at its headquarters in Cairo with the attendance of Ahly Football Director Sayed Abdel-Hafiz and Zamalek coach Jorvan Vieira and his assistant Osama Nabih.

Group A matches will kick off with Zamalek v Ahly game on 19, 20 or 21 July, while the away match will be held on 13, 14 or 15 September.

Titleholders Ahly reached the group stage after winning 2-1 at home to Tunisia's Club Bizertin, while their bitter-rivals Zamalek qualified after a 3-3 aggregate draw with Ethiopia's Saint George.

"Our group combines tough opponents and I really hoped Ahly wouldn't meet Zamalek in the same group," Ahly football director Sayed Abdel-Hafiz said while Zamalek assistant coach Osama Nabih said they don't care about the opponents names and they will do their best to clinch as many point as possible.

The Cairo giants were paired together in the same group in 2008 and 2012 and both tournaments were won by Ahly. Last year, they were with TP Mazembe of DR Congo and Ghana's Berekum Chelsea in which Ahly and Mazembe qualified.

Egyptian football has been facing extraordinary circumstances since the Port Said disaster forced the suspension of domestic competitions for over a year, but Ahly managed to create an amazing achievment by winning the most prestigious trophy in 2012.

Ismaily and ENPPI are set to play Tunisia's C.A. Bizertin and Saint George of Ethiopia respectively in the CAF Confederation Cup round of 16. They will be in different groups if they qualify, according to Tuesday's draw.

Egypt's national team are leading Group G of the World Cup qualifiers, five points clear of second-placed Guinea.

The juniors are preparing for the World Cup in Turkey after winning the African tournament.

CAF Champions League group stage draw:

Group A:
Ahly, Zamalek, AC Leopards of Congo, Orlando Pirates of South Africa

Group B:
Esperance, Coton Sport of Cameroon, Recreativo Libolo of Angola, Sewe San Pedro of Ivory Coast


The CAF Confederation Cup Group stage draw:

Group A
St. George (ETH) vs Enppi (EGY)
St Malien (MLI) vs Lydia (BUR)
C.S.S. (TUN) vs Rangers (NGA)
JSM Bejaia (ALG) vs ESS (TUN)                                                      

Group B
TP Mazembe (RDC) vs Liga M. (MOZ)
CAB (TUN) vs Ismaily (EGY)
ES Sétif (ALG) vs US Bitam (GAB)

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