There’s no other way to try soften the blow: Mamelodi Sundowns and AmaZulu can expect a tough draw in the group stages of the CAF Champions League!
Given their seeding from the ranking system used by the continental governing body, Downs have landed in Pot 2, while Usuthu are in Pot 4.
It’s the big guns, based on their score, who mostly occupy Pot 1 – and in that category there’s Pitso Mosimane’s Al Ahly, Esperance de Tunis, Wydad Casablanca and Raja Casablanca, all North Africa teams that usually dominate this competition.
Ahly are in fact the reigning champions.
The way the Pots have been set up, it’s possible Sundowns can be drawn in the same group as the title holders to face Mosimane again, this time a lot sooner than the quarterfinals meeting from the previous edition, which the Egyptians won 3-1 on aggregate.
Even if they avoid Ahly, they are still going to end up facing the other top sides in Pot 1, like it was the case last year when Downs took on TP Mazembe.
For AmaZulu, their maiden campaign in the Champions League could be a baptism of fire – by virtue of being in the last Pot as one of the teams with the lowest scores and ranking, that indicates whoever they face, will have more experience in the tournament.
So… Benni McCarthy could expect to face Ahly and Downs in what would be a genuinely tough first outing in the group stages for Usuthu.
But AmaZulu already beat Mazembe to quality. They are ready!
Check out all 16 teams in the CL group stages...