Favourable draws set up Orlando Pirates to reach CAF Confederation Cup final

Favourable draws set up Orlando Pirates to reach CAF Confederation Cup final

The Buccaneers face Tanzanian outfit Simba SC in the last-eight phase of the African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League with the first leg in Dar es Salaam on Easter Sunday, 17 April.

Orlando Pirates, who lost 2-1 on aggregate to Tunisian team Etoile Sahel in the 2015 final, will host the return match in Soweto the following weekend.

Simba SC also travelled to South Africa last season, and suffered a 4-0 hiding from Kaizer Chiefs in a CAF Champions League quarter-final.

The Tanzanian side staged a brave second-leg comeback to win 3-0, but finished overall losers as they seek to become the first team from the east African nation to win a CAF club competition.

Should Orlando Pirates overcome Simba SC, they will tackle a Libyan club, Al-Ittihad or Tripoli neighbours Al Ahly, in the semi-finals in May, with the first match in the oil-rich north Africa nation.

Orlando Pirates lost 3-2 away and drew 0-0 at home against Al-Ittihad in the group stage, but a team captained by veteran centre-back Happy Jele will be hopeful of reversing the results should they meet again.

Ahly Tripoli surprisingly won Group A ahead of Egyptian big spenders Pyramids and will start as slight favourites to win the Libyan derby.

In the other half of the quarter-finals draw, Pyramids confront two-time CAF Confederation Cup winners TP Mazembe from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Funded by Saudi and Emirati petro dollars, Pyramids are competing for a third consecutive season and finished runners-up and reached the semi-finals in previous attempts.

Mazembe have lost the now ageing stars who helped them win the CAF Champions League three times during the past decade, but won Group C and remain particularly strong at home in the mining city of Lubumbashi.

Moroccan outfit Renaissance Berkane, the other former CAF Confederation Cup title-holders in the field, travel to Egypt for the first leg of a quarter-final against Al Masry.

CAF CONFEDERATION CUP DRAWS

Quarter-finals

Simba (TAN) v Orlando Pirates (RSA)

Al Ittihad (LBA) v Al Ahly Tripoli (LBA)

Pyramids (EGY) v TP Mazembe (COD)

Al Masry (EGY) v Renaissance Berkane (MAR)

First legs: April 17; second legs: April 24

Semi-finals

Ittihad or Ahly v Simba or Pirates

Pyramids or Mazembe v Masry or Berkane

First legs: May 8; second legs: May 15

Note: Single-match final will be played between May 22 and 29 at a venue to be announced

By Garrin Lambley © Agence France-Presse

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