Ethiopia champions, St. George will take on holders TP Mazembe of DR Congo in the first leg of the Orange CAF Champions League 1/16th round on Sunday in Bahir Dar, 700km north of the capital Addis Ababa.
The visiting five-time winners arrived in Addis Ababa on Friday before flying to Bahir Dar 24-hours later.
The host has since last Tuesday shifted camp to the match venue, as Dutchman Mart Nooij prepares his side for their biggest game so far in their continental campaign.
After making easy work of Seychellois champions, St. Michel at the preliminary round 4-1 on aggregate, Nooij is hoping his charges will turn up in style against ‘Les Corbeaux’, highly favoured to advance to the next round.
A view which is shared by midfielder Minyahil Teshome, who insists they have what it takes to have the better of the encounter against the star-studded Congolese.
“We know that TP Mazembe is a strong force on the continent, but it doesn’t mean that we will concede defeat before the game. We are inspired by the results from the preliminary rounds. We are hopeful of victory on Sunday”, said the 30-year old midfielder.
On his part, former national team striker Adane Girma is also convinced that the DR Congo giants are beatable.
However, some fans of St. George have kicked against the decision to host the match in Bahir Dar, a venue he described an unfamiliar territory.
“It will be like playing away from home. Our players are accustomed to playing in Addis Ababa and I feel it would have been better if we had played there” noted the fan, who said he will still make the journey to Bahir Dar to cheer him team to victory.
The second leg will take place on the weekend of 18-20 March 2016 in Lubumbashi.
Saturday, 12 March 2016
Sundowns (South Africa) vs AC Leopards (Congo)
Stade Malien (Mali) vs Coton Sport (Cameroon)
Zesco United (Zambia) vs Horoya (Guinea)
APR (Rwanda) vs Young Africans (Tanzania)
Kaizer Chiefs (South Africa) vs ASEC Mimosas (Cote d’Ivoire)
Club Africain (Tunisia) vs MO Bejaia (Algeria)
Wydad (Morocco) vs CNaPS (Madagascar)
Ahly Tripoli (Libya) vs El Hilal (Sudan)
Recreativo do Libolo (Angola) vs Ahly (Egypt)
Sunday, 13 March 2016
AS Vita (DR Congo) vs Ferroviaro (Mozambique)
Warri Wolves (Nigeria) vs El Merreikh (Sudan)
Etoile du Congo (Congo) vs ES Setif (Algeria)
St George (Ethiopia) vs TP Mazembe (DR Congo)
Enyimba (Nigeria) vs Vital’O (Burundi)
OC Khouribga (Morocco) vs Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia)
Union Douala (Cameroon) vs Zamalek (Egypt)