With the FIFA World Club Cup set to take place in December, the CAF Champions League has reached the business end where the gold is within reach and everything is put on the line to achieve success.
With the final – a two-legged affair – set to take place in the coming days ahead, we review the season so far and what the final may just look like.
It started February this year, with the preliminary round of the competition. As the competition grew, it entered into the first round, where most West African club sides got kicked out of the competition. It was now mostly a face-off between clubs in the Northern Africa region and the Southern Africa region.
The dominance of clubs from these two regions was buttressed with the fact that Etoile du Sahel and ES Tunis were the only clubs that failed to lose any game in the group stages of the competition. Mamelodi Sundowns lost only once – the same number of times Al Ahly lost.
With Wydad Casablanca, USM Alger, Etoile du Sahel and Al Ahly all making it to the semi-finals of the competition, it is testament enough to the dominance of Northern African sides in this competition.
In all the 50 games played in the group stages, 35 of those games had more than one goal in it. That shows that the clubs have been able to put on impressive displays going forward in this competition.
Gone are the days African football was synonymous to low-scoring games. This year, the clubs have stepped up their goal-scoring game and this was evident in the knockout stages.
Only three games, since the quarter-finals of this year’s edition of the competition began, ended in 0-0 draws.
The away wins have not been so regular in this year’s edition of the competition. That home factor – the 12th man – has, time and time again, helped the home teams to at least earn themselves a point from games.
Al Ahly is among one of the very few clubs that travel away from home and got themselves three full points. They were able to get a goal for themselves when they played Etoile du Sahel in the first leg away from Egypt.
If you’ve been following this year’s edition of the competition, which club has impressed you the most? Share your thoughts with us by leaving us a comment. We’d love to hear from you.Tags: CAF