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Sports News of Monday, 21 January 2019


CAF Confederations Cup: All you need to know about Kotoko’s opponents

Nkana FC is one of the three teams in Kotoko's group Nkana FC is one of the three teams in Kotoko's group

Ghanaian giants Asante Kotoko have been handed a tricky group in the CAF Confederations Cup after they were paired with Zambia sides Zesco United and Nkana Red Devils as well as Sudanese Champions Al Hilal Omdurman.

The Porcupine Warriors were drawn in Group C after reaching this stage of the competition for the first time in 11 years, having beaten Cameroonian Champion Coton Sport in in the play-offs.

Below is a brief history of clubs drawn in Kotoko's group.

Al Hilal Ormduman

Al Hilal Omdurman are the record Sudanese champions, having won the top flight league 27 times including last season's championship.

The name Hil?l is the Arabic word for crescent – a name chosen on a night when the crescent of the moon was visible in Omdurman. Also it is the first club in the world to be named Al Hilal.

The Sudanese champions dropped out of the CAF Champions League after losing to Tunisian giants Club Africain to set up a tie with Mukura in the play-offs of the Confederations Cup, where they eliminated the Rwandan club 3-1 on aggregate.

Al Hilal’s major success on the African continent was reaching the finals of the African Cup of Champions Clubs in 1987 and 1992.

The club is currently managed by Tunisian coach Irad Zaafouri.

Nkana FC

Nkana FC finished last season's MTN/FAZ Super Division league as runners up. They are 12 times champions of the Zambian league, having won the last one in 2013.

Nkana FC is a club based in Kitwe and is one of the country's most popular teams.

It is Zambia's most successful league club with 12 titles, and second overall, winning 43 trophies, 6 behind Mufulira Wanderers. They play their home games at Nkana Stadium in Wusakili, Kitwe.

The "Red Devils" qualified for the group stages of the CAF Confederations Cup after beating FC San Pedro of Cote D' Ivoire 3-0 on aggregate.

Thier biggest achievement in continental football was when they reached the final of the 1990 African Cup of Champions Clubs.

The team is led by Zambian tactician Beston Chambeshi.

ZESCO United

Zesco United Football Club is a Zambian professional football club based in Ndola that plays in the Zambian Premier league.

Founded on January 1, 1974, the club have spent most of their history in the top tier of Zambian football. The club's home ground is the 49,800-seat Levy Mwanawasa stadium in Ndola, Northern Zambia, where they have played their home games since the ground was opened in 2012.

Zesco are behind Nkana FC in terms of league titles won, having been champions seven times.

They are currently champions of Zambia and had to drop from the champions League to the Confederations Cup, where the easily dispatched South African side Kaizer Chiefs 5-2 on aggregate.

Two seasons ago they were in the quarter finals of the the CAF Confederations Cup, but their biggest achievement on the continent was reaching the semi finals of the CAF Champions League in 2016.