Zesco and Buildcon date Eswatini sides as Eagles hope to fly over Pirates
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) draws for both the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup were conducted this evening in Cairo and three of Zambia’s representatives get preliminary round opponents for the 2019/2020 Club continental showpieces.
In the CAF Champions League, Choma based Green Eagles will face South African Soweto giants Orlando Pirates. The Kawale Boys will be making a debut in the prestigious competition having featured in the Confederation Cup last season where they were eliminated by Algerian side NA Huseindey via a 2-1 aggregate scoreline.
Orlando Pirates have three Zambians on their books; Justin Shonga, Augustine Mulenga and new acquisition from Nkana Austin Muwowo. The buccaneers were eliminated in the group stages last season in the Champions League finishing with six points in Group B.
COSAFA Cup-winning coach Aggrey Chiyangi will be counting on the Cecafa Kagame Cup experience were Green Eagles finished third in the tournament having played against the likes of Kenyan giants Gor Mahia, Uganda’s super club KCCA, Proline, APR of Rwanda among other sides.
Green Eagles will host Orlando Pirates before traveling to South Africa for the return leg.
Eight times Zambia Super League champions, Zesco United will be seeking redemption having bowed out in the second round of qualifying when they lost 2-1 on aggregate against Congolese giants TP Mazembe.
The Zambian champions have been drawn against Eswatini’s Green Mambas. The 2016 semi-finalist will be away in the first leg and will hope to wrap it up against the Mambas when they host them at the gigantic Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
A lot is expected of the highest-ranked Zambian side when they play little known Green Mambas who are making a return to Zambia having played against Zanaco in the early 2000s but Zega Mambo will be without star striker now on the books of Kaizer Chiefs, Lazarous Kambole, who scored a quick hattrick when they visited the mountainous Island of Eswatini.
Last season, Zesco United failed to make it out of the Group in the Confederation Cup where they managed to record only two wins at home and lost all three away matches.
In the CAF Confederation Cup, debutants, Buildcon Football Club will kick start their African football expedition with Eswatini’s army sponsored side Young Buffaloes. This is seemingly a fair draw that the Ndola moneybags were hoping for.
Young buffaloes are making a return to Zambia for a second season running having face Green eagles last season who eliminated them at the same stadium with a 5-2 aggregate.
Team Kopala qualified for the Confederation Cup after they finished second in Stream B behind Green Eagles.
Ndola’s Levy Mwanawasa will hope the first leg as Team Kopala will host the Young Buffaloes side before facing them in seven days time away in Eswatini.
Zanaco Football Club will be on bye during the preliminary round will join the fray in the second of qualification where they will play either Mauritius’ Bolton CYC or Jwaneng Galaxy Football Club of Botswana.
The first leg for the first round of the preliminary stage will take place on 11-13 August with the return leg set for 23-25 August. The first leg matches for the second round will take place on 15-17 September while the second leg matches are set for 27-29 September.
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