By Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWEAN champions FC Platinum were handed a tough draw in the group stages of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) after being drawn in Group B alongside three-time winners and reigning champions Espérance from Tunisia.
In addition to the tough test against Espérance, FC Platinum will also face another former winner of the continental club championship in South African giants Orlando Pirates and Guinean club Horoya Athletic Club.
According to the draw, Group A comprises Lobi Stars from Nigeria, Wydad Athletic Club from Morocco and South African side Orlando Pirates and Asec Mimosas from Ivory Coast while Group C features TP Mazembe from DR Congo, Tunisian side Club Africain, Constantnois from Algeria and Egyptian side Ismailly.
Record African winners Al Ahly headline Group D alongside Tanzanian side Simba FC, FS Saoura from Algeria and Congolese outfit AS Vita.
Only the top two teams in each pool advance to the quarterfinals‚ with the first set of matches to be played on January 11-13 and the pools to be completed on March 15-17.
The focus of Zimbabwean fans will however, be on FC Platinum, who are making their debut appearance in the group stages of the CAF Champions League.
The Zvishavane-based side booked their spot in the last 16 after accounting for Congolese side AS Otoho D’oyo on the away goal rule having knocked out Malagasy side CNaPs in the preliminary round of the competition.
Group A: Lobi Stars, Wydad Casablanca, ASEC Mimosas, Mamelodi Sundowns
Group B: FC Platinum, Horoya, Esperance, Orlando Pirates
Group C: TP Mazembe, Club Africain, Constantnois, Ismailly
Group D: Al Ahly, Simba FC, FS Saoura, AS Vita