JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, May 01 – South African club Orlando Pirates were paired with Moroccan giants Raja Casablanca when the CAF Confederation Cup quarter-finals draw was made in Cairo Friday.
Raja excelled in the group stage, winning all six matches, scoring 13 goals, conceding none, and sending a warning to future opponents by trouncing 2020 runners-up Pyramids 3-0 in Egypt.
From goalkeeper Anas Zniti to forward Soufiane Rahimi, Raja boast a star-stacked multi-national team full of experienced African campaigners.
They won the Confederation Cup in 2018 and are favourites to do so again and bring to Morocco for a sixth time a trophy awarded to the winners of the African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League.
Pirates were runners-up in 2015 and while scoring only 10 goals in nine matches en route to the knockout stage must concern German coach Josef Zinnbauer, the Buccaneers’ defence conceded just two.
Enyimba will take good home and poor away form into a showdown with Pyramids as they seek to become the first Nigerian winners of the competition.
A midweek win over Pirates made it four wins from four home Confederation Cup matches this season, but the club based in southeastern city Aba have lost all four away games.
Expensively assembled Pyramids boast a number of foreign stars, including Uruguayan Diego Rolan, Ghanaian John Antwi, Burkinabe Eric Traore and Palestinian Mahmoud Wadi.
Record three-time Confederation Cup winners CS Sfaxien of Tunisia will face JS Kabylie of Algeria in an intriguing north African showdown.
The line-up is completed by a match-up between Coton Sport of Cameroon and Jaraaf of Senegal, clubs who exceeded expectations by reaching the knockout stage.
CS Sfaxien (TUN) v JS Kabylie (ALG)
Orlando Pirates (RSA) v Raja Casablanca (MAR)
Pyramids (EGY) v Enyimba (NGR)
Coton Sport (CMR) v Jaraaf (SEN)
First legs: May 16, second legs: May 23
Pyramids or Enyimba v Pirates or Raja
Coton or Jaraaf v Sfaxien or Kabylie
First legs: June 20, second legs: June 27
Note: Single-match final will be played on July 1