Ahly draw Jadida in CAF Confederation Cup
01 April 2014, 15:11
Johannesburg - Deposed African champions Al-Ahly of Egypt were drawn against Difaa El-Jadida of Morocco Tuesday in the CAF Confederation Cup play-offs.
Another intriguing pairing from the draw in Cairo placed Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa with ASEC Mimosas of Ivory Coast.
Ahly, seeking a record third consecutive CAF Champions League title, were surprisingly eliminated last weekend by Al-Ahly Benghazi of Libya.
Defeat meant the Cairo 'Red Devils', along with seven other Champions League second round losers, dropped to the second-tier Confederation Cup.
Champions League losers were paired with Confederation Cup second round winners and the eight play-offs survivors qualify for the group stage.
"Facing a fellow North African club will be a motivating factor because of the regional rivalry," said Ahly official Hany Rashad.
"No Egyptian club has won the Confederation Cup and we want to be the first to achieve that feat."
Ahly made a disastrous Confederation Cup play-offs debut five years ago, surrendering a 3-0 first-leg lead over Santos of Angola before losing a penalty shootout.
Jadida impressed in Confederation Cup home games this year, scoring eight goals in victories over Sonabel of Burkina Faso, Gamtel of Gambia and Kigali of Rwanda.
An Ahly defence marshalled by soon-to-retire Wael Gomaa, 38, will have to be particularly watchful of Ayoub Nanah, who has netted five times.
Chiefs, who narrowly failed to overtake a 3-0 Champions League deficit against Vita from the Democratic Republic of Congo, will have goalkeeper and captain Itumeleng Khune back for ASEC.
An ankle injury sidelined the most popular South African footballer for the Vita matches and his return is a boost given the goal-hungry form of the Ivorians.
Former African champions ASEC crushed CS Constantine of Algeria 6-0 in Abidjan to reach the play-offs with Foba Koffi and Ibrahima Fofana claiming two each.
Former Confederation Cup title-holders AC Leopards of Congo Brazzaville and Etoile Sahel of Tunisia are among the 16 title contenders.
Leopards drew Medeama of Ghana and Etoile face Horoya of Guinea, who lost to another Tunisian club, CS Sfaxien, in the Champions League.
Bayelsa United, the last Nigerian hope for a CAF club title this year, were paired with Ivorians Sewe San Pedro and Nkana of Zambia drew CA Bizertin of Tunisia.
Real Bamako and Djoliba square off in an all-Mali tie and Coton Sport of Cameroon play Petro Atletico of Angola.
First legs are scheduled for the weekend of April 18-20 with the return fixtures one week later.
Al-Ahly (EGY) v Difaa El-Jadida (MAR)
Real Bamako (MLI) v Djoliba (MLI)
AC Leopards (CGO) v Medeama (GHA)
Kaizer Chiefs (RSA) v ASEC Mimosas (CIV)
Coton Sport (CMR) v Petro Atletico (ANG)
Horoya (GUI) v Etoile Sahel (TUN)
Sewe San Pedro (CIV) v Bayelsa Utd (NGR)
Nkana (ZAM) v CA Bizertin (TUN)
First legs: April 18-20, second: April 25-27
Note: winners qualify for group stage