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Lobi Stars begin continental campaign with loss

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CAF Champions League and Confederations Cup draw results

CAF Champions League trophy
CAF Champions League trophy

African Champions League holders Mamelodi Sundowns will get a chance to make a point about last year's good fortune in the continent's top club competition when they meet AS Vita Club of DR Congo in the group phase of this year's edition.

The two teams were drawn together on Wednesday when CAF hosted draws for both the Champions League and Confederation Cup in Cairo.

Sundowns won last year for the first time, but only got to the group phase because of the benevolence of the Congolese, who made a costly error by fielding a suspended player in an earlier round match.

Vita Club eliminated Sundowns in the last knockout round before the group phase, but were then disqualified by CAF. Midfielder Idrissa Traore was a figure largely forgotten as Sundowns replaced Vita in the group phase and went on and win the title.

The Brazilians coach Pitso Mosimane will get the chance to prove they were worthy of lifting the continental crown following jibes that Sundowns were undeserved champions.

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Wednesday's draw also paired Esperance of Tunisia and newcomers St George of Ethiopia in Group C.

In Group D, Al Ahly of Egypt meet Wydad Casablanca again after finishing well behind the Moroccans in the group phase last year, while runners-up Zamalek have USM Alger as their major contenders in Group B.

The two Sudanese rivals Al Hilal and Al Merreikh were drawn together in Group A - not for the first time in African club competition.

Only Sundowns, Al Ahly, Zamalek and Wydad remain from the eight teams who played in last year's Champions League.

This year marks the expansion of the competition to 16 teams with the introduction of a quarterfinal round at the end of the group phase.

In the CAF Confederation Cup, holders TP Mazembe from DR Congo were drawn in Group D with CF Mounana (Gabon), Horoya (Guinea) and South Africa's SuperSport United.

Champions League draw:

Group A: Ferroviario Beira (Mozambique), Al Hilal, Al Merreikh (both Sudan), Etoile Sahel (Tunisia)
Group B: USM Alger (Algeria), Zamalek (Egypt), Al Ahli Tripoli (Libya), CAPS United (Zimbabwe)
Group C: AS Vita Club (DR Congo), St George (Ethiopia), Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa), Esperance (Tunisia)
Group D: Coton Sport (Cameroon), Al Ahly (Egypt), Wydad Casablanca (Morocco), Zanaco (Zambia)

Confederation Cup draw:

Group A: FUS Rabat (Morocco), Rivers United (Nigeria), Club Africain (Tunisia), Kampala Capital City Authority (Uganda)
Group B: Mouloudia Alger (Algeria), Platinum Stars (South Africa), Mbabane Swallows (Swaziland), CS Sfaxien (Tunisia)
Group C: Recreativo Libolo (Angola), Smouha (Egypt), Al Hilal Elobeid (Sudan), Zesco United (Zambia)
Group D: TP Mazembe Englebert (DR Congo), CF Mounana (Gabon), Horoya (Guinea), SuperSport United (South Africa)

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