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Giants qualify for CAF Champions League group stages

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A total of 59 teams competed in the qualifying rounds from February 10, 2018 to March 18, 2018 to decide the 16 places in the group stage of the 2018 CAF Champions League.

KCCA FC, which won US$550, 000 (Approx.Shs2 billion), became the first Ugandan club to reach the CAF Champions League group stage following a 1-0 aggregate win over Ethiopian giants St. George in the qualification round.

Muhammad Shaban scored the only goal two minutes into the second half heading home from a Mustafa Kizza cross, and reports indicate individual players got Shs20 million.

For the first time in the history of the Caf Champions’ league, Botswana, Guinea, Swaziland, Togo and Uganda will have a representation in the knockout tournament.

Holders Wydad Athletic Club of Morocco remain on course to defend their title after they eliminated Williamsville of Cote d’Ivoire 7-2 on aggregate.

Former winners AS Vita of DR Congo, Ivorian gaints ASEC Mimosas and regular participants El Hilal of Sudan are some of the teams that fell along the road.

Kenyan champions Gor Mahia were eliminated by Tunisian side Esperance as they lost 1-0 on aggregate after the return leg of their second round clash at the Stade El Menzah in Tunisia.

Record winners, Al Ahly will carry high the flag of Egypt whilst TP Mazembe of DR Congo stages a comeback after missing out on the competition last year.

The group stage draw will take place on Wednesday, 21 March 2018 in Cairo, Egypt. The First group stage matches will be played on 4 May 2018.

The first leg of the final will be played on 3 November 2018 while the second leg will take place on 10 November 2018.

The winners of the 2018 CAF Champions League will qualify as the CAF representative at the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, and also earn the right to play against the winners of the 2018 CAF Confederation Cup in the 2019 CAF Super Cup.

Qualified teams:

KCCA (Uganda), Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa), Difaa El Jadidi (Morocco), Zesco (Zambia), AS Togo (Togo), Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia), Esperance (Tunisia), ES Setif (Algeria), Primeiro de Agosto (Angola), TP Mazembe (DR Congo), Township Rollers (Botswana), Horoya (Guinea), MC Alger (Algeria), Al Ahly (Egypt), Wydad Casablanca (Morocco), Mbabane Swallows (Swaziland).

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