Nigerian Teams Handed Tricky Confed Cup Draws

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Nigerian champions Enugu Rangers were on Tuesday paired with Zambian club Zesco  in their CAF Confederation Cup play-off draw.

At the draw for the continent’s second-tier club competition at the CAF headquarters in  Cairo, Nigeria’s other representatives in the play-offs   Rivers United were drawn against  Rwandan outfit   Rayon Sports.

Rangers and Rivers United are among 16 clubs demoted from the Champions League to the Confederation Cup  after losing their round of 32 fixtures.

The  16 qualified teams from the first round of the competition were drawn  against the 16 clubs who  were eliminated from the CAF Champions League.

First legs are scheduled for April 7-9 with the return matches a week later and the 16 overall winners qualify for the group stage.

Sudanese powerhouse Al-Merreikh dumped  Rivers United  out of the Champions League 4-3 on aggregate. The Port Harcourt side threw away their  first leg 3-0 win at home  to submit to a 4-0 hammering by Al-Merreikh in the reverse fixture on Saturday.

Rangers crashed out of the elite tournament after they  failed to upturn their first leg  4-1 defeat against  Zamalek in Egypt on March 12  as they battled to a 2-1 victory in Enugu on Sunday.

Zesco United sealed their place in   the pre-group stage of the  continent’s second tier club competition after  battling   to a 2-2 away draw against Burundi’s   Le Messager Ngozi in Bujumbura  on  March 18. The 2016 CAF Champions League semifinalists  advanced to the final knockout stage 4-2 on aggregate, having  won  the first leg  2-0 at home on March 10.

Meanwhile, multiple CAF title winners DR Congo’s  TP Mazembe were pitted against  JS Kabylie of Algeria.

Mazembe lifted the trophy after beating  Algerian club Mouloudia Bejaia 5-2 on aggregate  in the final. The first leg in Bilda ended 1-1, with  Mazembe winning the reverse fixture in Lubumbashi 4-1.

Kabylie have won six African titles, and the pairing is a repeat of the 2010 CAF Champions League semi-final won 3-1 on aggregate by Mazembe.

Mazembe are among 16 clubs demoted from the Champions League to the Confederation Cup last weekend after suffering round-of-32 losses.

The other 16 clubs who went into the draw, including Kabylie, came through the Confederation Cup qualifying phase.

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