Nigeria’s surviving clubs in this year’s Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) club competition, Enyimba International of Aba and Enugu Rangers International received favourable draws in the Confederation Cup play-offs pairings held in Cairo, Egypt, on Wednesday.
Enyimba will have home advantage first against South African second division club, TS Galaxy, who have won all four CAF matches this season, but against modest opponents.
The Aba People’s Elephant had a purple patch a decade ago, winning successive CAF Champions League and CAF Super Cup titles.
But they were shocked by Al Hilal of Sudan in the Champions League this season and dropped to the second-tier Confederation Cup along with 15 other first round losers.
Although not overly impressive when eliminating Pelican of Gabon in the previous round of the Confederation Cup, Enugu should prove too strong over two legs for ASC Kara of Togo.
Like Enyimba, Asante Kotoko of Ghana have been African champions twice, but 36 years have elapsed since they last conquered the continent.
The Kumasi-based Porcupine Warriors tackle less experienced CAF campaigners, San Pedro from the Ivory Coast, in a west African showdown they should win.
Zamalek of Egypt, who defeated Renaissance Berkane of Morocco on penalties in the 2018/2019 Confederation Cup final, were included in the draw, but may not participate.
The Cairo White Knights face Generation Foot of Senegal in a rearranged Champions League last-32 second leg, and if they overcome a 2-1 deficit will remain in the elite competition.
ESAE of Benin, competing in Africa for the first time, await Zamalek or Generation in the play-offs.
The 16 winners go into a group draw with the first fixtures scheduled for Sunday December 1.