Continental giants Ahly and Espérance de Tunis will have to overturn a one-goal deficit this weekend in the CAF Champions League, when they host Moghreb Tetouan and Al Merreikh in the return leg of their round of 16 tie, to book their place in the group stage of Africa’s foremost clubs competition.
The two powerhouses suffered a 1-0 defeat away from home in the first leg, and will have no choice but to chase a two-goal cushion to secure a last eight spot.
An early exit will come as a major blow for the ‘Blood and Gold’, who have been an ever-present in the CAF Champions League group stage over the past five years, reaching the semi-finals four times and the final on three consecutive occasions during that period.
Meanwhile, eight-time African champions Ahly are desperately looking for a return to the continental last 8, after dropping out in the round of 16 in the previous edition to become the first ever Egyptian side to lift the Confederation Cup though.
Four-time African champions TP Mazembe and title holders ES Sétif will not feel the same pressure when they welcome Stade Malien and Raja Casablanca respectively, after both outfits secured a 2-2 away draw in the first leg.
The path to the group stage seems also wide open for Sudanese giants Al Hilal, only side to have recorded a win on the road in the first leg after enjoying a 1-0 victory in Kinshasa over SM Sanga Balende.
Algerian outfit MC El Eulma and AC Léopards of Congo will be confident ahead of their trip to Sfax and Alexandria, after keeping a clean sheet on home ground while taking a one-goal advantage into the return leg. While everything remains possible between AS Kaloum and USM Alger, after the Guineans scored a precious away goal in their narrow 2-1 defeat to the Algerians.
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