After tight first legs, the TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup quarter finals head into the return ties this weekend. From the first legs, only Simba and Al Masry earned victory, but the ties remain close calls heading into Sunday’s round.
RS Berkane – Al Masry, Stade Municipal de Berkane, 21h00 GMT
AL Masry had a performance to remember in the first leg, beating Morocco’s RS Berkane 2-1 despite playing most of the match with nine men. Despite the lead, the tie promises to be far from over as Berkane host the return fixture on Sunday.
Head coach Florent Ibenge is under the microscope, but has promised that his side will show more consistency and determination to overturn the result.
On the other end, Mouine Chaabani and his charges are confident.
The first leg showed their ability to tame a troublesome opponent despite their numerical handicap. The two red carded players, Amr Moussa and Elyes Jelassi will miss the return fixture in Berkane, giving Masry a headache for their replacement.
However, the Egyptian side will pick optimism from their first leg performance.
TP Mazembe – Pyramids, Stade TP Mazembe de Lubumbashi, 13h00 GMT
TP Mazembe host Pyramids in the return fixture in Lubumbashi, with the tie placed even after a 0-0 result from the first leg in Cairo last weekend. Mazembe tactician Franck Dumas remains confident his side which lost only once in the group phase can make the most of their home advantage and progress to another continental semi-final.
Pyramids will however not be an easy opponent for the Ravens but they will rely on the fact that they have been blowing hot and cold away from home.
Pyramids who lost in the finals of the 2020 season are eager to make another semi-final and their head coach Ehab Galal, who is set to join the national team, is keen to ensure he finishes his assignment with Pyramids on a high.
Orlando Pirates – Simba, Orlando Stadium, Johannesburg, 16h00 GMT
Simba arrive in Johannesburg on the backdrop of a 1-0 victory in Dar es Salaam last weekend and are looking to complete the home and away victory over the Bucaneers to earn a continental semi-final slot.
But playing at home, Pirates are keen to overturn the result, especially being one of the most prolific sides in attack in the Confederation Cup this season.
They will look to exploit a Simba side that has not faired well away from home, with their coach Pablo Franco admitting their away record has been a concern this season. In the group phase, they suffered defeats to RS Berkane and Asec Mimosas while they dree with US Gendermerie.
Al Ahli Tripoli – Al Ittihad, Martyrs of Benina Stadium, Benina, 20h00 GMT
The second instalment of the Libyan derby will be held in Benina, after last weekend’s first leg ended goalless. With the return tie, Ittihad will look to hurt their opponents with an away goal as any scoring draw or win will sail them through to the last four.
Tripoli will meanwhile have to win the match to progress and they will be keen to maximize on their home advantage.