The Caf Confederation Cup which is the second tier competition for African teams can be traced to its merger of the CAF Cup and African Cup Winners Cup, which teams who couldn’t qualify for the main competition ‘CAF Champions League’ fall back on.
The domestic cup winners from all 55 CAF member associations are eligible to participate. The third-placed club in the domestic league of the top twelve placed CAF member associations also qualifies to participate.
As such, the competition is now in its next round, today in this article, Cheapgoals will take a look at the top five potential winners of the second-tier CAF Competition, based on their performance and current form.
Name: Hassania Agadir
Manager: Mohamed Fakhir
The 2007 Caf Confederation Cup was the fourth edition of the CAF second-tier competition, Its schedule began with the preliminary round home-and-away ties in late January and mid-February with the second round in March and the third round in April.
The Moroccan outfit Agadir made their debut in the competition for that season, but couldn’t move past the second round of the competition, losing to a Nigerian side Dolphins FC via penalty shootout as they failed to made it into the group stages.
The 2018-19 season was a bit better for Agadir compared to their first outing in the tournament in 2007 as they learned from their mistakes by getting to the quarter-finals, Mohamed Fahkir led side were grouped in a group that was touted the group of death with RS Berkane, Raja Casablanca who are from the same league as well as AS Otoho.
Agadir sealed their place at the last eight after a difficult 1-1 draw away to their Nigeria’s opponent Enyimba in group D, and they now top the group with eleven points, though their league form is certainly nothing to write home about as they currently languish in the bottom table, but then with the way they’re playing on the continent they look more like a team that is ready to go a notch higher than what they’ve achieved in their previous outings.
Name: RS Berkane
Manager: Tarek Skitiou
The ‘Oranges’ are currently enjoying a blistering run of form both in the league and on the continent, as they’re second behind league leader Wydad Casablanca with 28point this season.
The 2019 CAF Confederation Cup was Berkane first outing on the continent, which was a testament to the fact that their growth has been organic since the club was founded, Berkane got to the final last season but lost to Zamalek of Egypt via penalty shootout.
The Skitiou led side are currently riding on that stride that got them to the final, by topping group B with 10 points, as such if things went according to plan for the Oranges in the competition going forward, they would definitely want to lunch an assault on the second biggest CAF club football tournament.
Name: Pyramids FC
Manager: Ante Čačić
The journey to the top began for Pyramid in 2008 when the club was still ‘Al Assiouty Sport‘, they got promoted to the Egyptian top-flight in 2014 for the first time in their history, after winning the promotion play-offs.
In 2018, due to their achievement in the Egyptian second-tier division, and how they got promoted to the top flight, the chairman of Saudi Sport Authority, Turki Al Sheik took over the club and also rename the club from ‘Al Assiouty Sport’ to Pyramids, and since then their growth in league has been tremendous.
Fast forward to 2019, the club got another owner in Salem Al Shamsi, a new development that brought about their first outing on the continent in 2018-19 season when they finished third in the league behind Al Ahly and Zamalek, but couldn’t go beyond the playoffs.
This season the Egyptian big-spenders are not leaving any stones unturned as they currently top Group A, which is a testament to their current form on the continent and the league. With their two legs already in the next round, the Ante Cecic led side would want to test their strength in the competition this season, but it left to be seen how things would pan out for them.
Name: Enyimba FC
Manager: Fatai Osho
If past records were anything to go by on the continent, then certainty the Aba Boys can’t be underestimated with what they’ve also achieved, though some might say they’ve not been fantastic on the continent of recent, however, Enyimba still remains one team that could conquer the Confederation Cup.
Enyimba got to the semi-finals of the CAF Confederation Cup in 2018, which was their second appearance in Caf’s second-tier competition, this season the Aba Boys sit second behind Agadir with 7-points with one match left to play against San Pedro.
If things went according to plan for Enyimba and they stand tall to approach other matches like a champion we’ve always known them to be, perhaps we might see another successful year for the Osho led side, however, there are lots of work still to be done.
Name: Al Masry SC
Manager: Ehad Galal
2018 Confed Cup performance is certainly one tournament Al Masry will want to borrow their strength from, concerning this season as they sojourn on their quest to win the title.
The Egyptian side got to the semi-finals of the competition in 2018 against AS Vita, but couldn’t move past the DR Congo side, as their first leg encounter ended goalless in Port Said and the rest was history for Al Masry.
This season presents them with another chance to once again lunch an assault to what they couldn’t achieve last time when they got to the semis, Al Masry is second behind group leader Pyramids and as such their next round is guaranteed, but then the task ahead is still very much tough, yet its left to be seen if the Egyptian side could go all out to win the title.
FIFA Congress To Decide Future Host Of FIFA Women’s World Cup™
Council assigns FIFA Women’s World Cup™ hosting decision to the football governing body’s Congress; also approves financial statements for 2020 and budget for 2022.
Meeting by video conference, the Council conferred to the Congress the decision to award Women’s World Cup™ hosting rights.
Until now, the decision has been taken by the FIFA Council, most recently in June 2020 when the hosting rights for the 2023 edition were awarded to Australia and New Zealand.
As the football governing body seeks to raise the profile of the women’s game, this represents a significant step to bring the Women’s World Cup in line with the flagship men’s competition.
The proposal will be put forward for a final decision by the 71st FIFA Congress, which will meet virtually (for the second time) on 21 May.
International match calendar and release of players.
The FIFA Council received a report on the international football situation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bureau of the Council had extended to April 2021 the temporary amendments to the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players regarding the release of players for international duty, and FIFA, the confederations, and its member associations remain in dialogue with national authorities about exemptions from quarantine rules for national team players.
READ ALSO: Mosengo-Omba Is CAF New General Secretary
The FIFA Council recognized that the highest priority in football is the health of the players, and therefore the discussion around the release of players for international duty must maintain this perspective, especially as the public health situation develops around the world.
2020 financials and 2022 budget
The Council also approved the organization’s Annual Report, which contains the financial statements for 2020 and the budget for 2022.
The FIFA Annual Report 2020 focuses on the role played by world football’s governing body in the fight against COVID-19, primarily through the unprecedented COVID-19 Relief Plan, which has made available USD 1.5 billion to support FIFA’s 211 member associations and the confederations through times of financial uncertainty.
The FIFA Annual Report 2020 is available on the official site.
FIFA Arab Cup 2021™
The Council approved the competition regulations for the FIFA Arab Cup 2021, confirming the match schedule and draw procedure for the competition taking place in Qatar from 1 to 18 December this year.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Fédération Internationale de Football Association.
Paul Onuachu: A Victim Of Tactical Deficiency
Ever wondered why Genk forward Paul Onuachu has always been a prolific figure for his club and find it hard to replicate that form with the Super Eagles when invited?
The Nigeria international has been in awesome form for the Blue-White, scoring 26 goals in the Jupiler League this season for Genk, while his scoring prowess at his club has been a contrast to his form with the national team under Gernot Rohr scoring just once in 9 games despite being a top performer at club level.
Ahead of the AFCON qualifier doubleheader against Lesotho and the Benin Republic, Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr named his 23 man list with the inform former Midtjylland forward listed as one of the standby players.
Onuachu’s struggles with the Super Eagles in previous games he featured is quite baffling, considering the excitement that greeted his first appearance with the national team plus the impressive form he’s currently in.
The job of every manager is to find a suitable position or fashion out tactics that would be suitable for their players in other to blend with the team approaches to every match. In Onuachu’s case, he hasn’t been fortunate enough to blend in with Rohr’s tactics. While at club level, Midtjylland plays to his strength.
However, due to Napoli’s players been restricted from traveling, the Genk forward made it through the backdoor to replace Gernot Rohr’s number one forward Victor Osimhen who hasn’t really hit the ground running with the ‘Partenopei‘, but when with the Eagles, he never fails to deliver.
It’s no doubt that the lanky striker has failed to deliver in his previous games, disappointing the ever-demanding Nigerian football enthusiasts with unforgiving backlashes from the fans. However, his prolific prowess with his club suggests otherwise and consistently makes a case for him to be integrated into the team with a different tactical approach that suits his style.
The era of a target man may have been long gone in football due to the advent of new tactics that have brought about a series of changes in the game. With managers preferring to go with a fast, skillful, or makeshift winger- kind of striker, instead of a target man.
READ ALSO: Super Eagles: 9 Players Who Netted On Debut
Looking at how Paul Onuachu plays with Genk upfront shows he’s one of the best target men in football, despite been perceived by many as a slow and old-fashioned kind of forward. However, John van den Bromm has been able to carve out a tactic that suits him which has been evident with his prolific form irrespective of his style of play.
Onuachu’s Super Eagle future might be on the knife-edge with Gernot Rohr not finding the right tactics that suit the Genk forward, especially with him not been consider as the go-to man despite his blistering runs of form in Belgium.
In recent times Rohr’s philosophy of vibrant attacking football with an emphasis on passing in the final third which requires the expertise of brilliant players to implement such tactics hasn’t really favored him.
Having a player in the mold of Onuachu gives Rohr another tactical option and an alternative style of play should the initial approach fails to work as expected, but the German tactician hasn’t really taken advantage of what the man could offer with a different opponent.
Onuachu’s presence in the Super Eagles team should be an added advantage in terms of variety when the normal approach of the manager fails. With an in-form striker on the bench, it could prove valuable, but in the former Midtjylland’s case, Gernot Rohr doesn’t seem to see him as a player that has a future with the national team.
Players in the mold of the Nigerian are quite physically imposing as the point man, though they may not offer the team excellent off-the-ball movement in some cases. However, they often find a way to provide an opportunity which the team could utilize when attacking or defending.
Onuachu’s inability to show a good turn of pace and smart footwork may have been one of the deficiencies that are affecting his chances of blending perfectly into the team.
However, the job of a manager is to help players blend in perfectly, and that’s exactly what Gernot Rohr should be doing. Not only for Onuachu but for every other player who are always finding it hard to replicate club form with the National Team.