The quarter-finals of the 2022/23 TotalEnergies CAF Champions League is brimming with sub-plot and intrigue as title holders Wydad Casablanca of Morocco are among the eight sides to have confirmed their places.
Record holders Al Ahly of Egypt also secured their place in the last eight following the conclusion of the group stage of the competition on Saturday night.
Wydad are joined in the quarters by their compatriots and city rivals Raja who progressed from Group C along with Tanzanian side Simba.
Algerian duo of JS Kabylie and Belouizdad also advanced along with Esperance of Tunisia and South African club Mamelodi Sundowns.
Exciting fixtures are expected when the quarter-final draw is conducted on Wednesday 05 April 2023 in Cairo, Egypt.
Summary of how the eight teams qualified from their various groups:
Defending champions Wydad Athletic and Algeria’s CR Belouizdad had already qualified heading into match day six, and their clash was merely for positional finishing.
Wydad beat the Algerians 3-0 to finish top of the group with 13 points, Belouizdad with 10.
This was the only group that had not been decided heading into match day six with 10-time champions Al Ahly and Sudan’s Al Hilal battling for one remaining slot.
It was Ahly who captured second spot, on goal difference, after humbling Hilal 3-0 at home in Cairo to move to 10 points.
Mamelodi Sundowns, the 2016 champions finished top of this group after beating winless Cotonsport 2-1 to move to 14 points.
Raja Club Athletic and Simba SC have finished first and second in this group respectively. They met in Casablanca in the last group match, with Raja already assured of top slot.
The Moroccans won 3-1 regardless, to keep their unbeaten run in this season’s competition intact and move to 16 points. Simba finished with nine.
Esperance and CR Belouizdad had also already qualified to the last eight prior to the last match of the group. They met in Rades, with the match ending 0-0.
Esperance finished top with 11 points while the Algerians were second with 10.