SA teams who played in CAFCL group stage

CAF Champions League

Following AmaZulu's historic qualification for the group stage of the CAF Champions League, here is a look at every South African team to have reached this stage of the competition before.

On Saturday evening, last season's DStv Premiership runners-up AmaZulu secured their progression to the group stage of the Champions League after defeating five-time champions TP Mazembe 1-1 on aggregate on the away goals rule.

Scroll through the gallery to see which SA teams previously reached the group stage of the Champions League

Victory for Benni McCarthy's side, in what is their first-ever campaign in the tournament, saw Usuthu become just the seventh team from South Africa to progress beyond the preliminary stages of Africa's showpiece club competition. 

Orlando Pirates (5 appearances in the group stage or beyond)

Soweto giants Orlando Pirates were the first team from Mzansi to reach the group stage of what was then known as the African Cup of Champions Clubs, and went on to become the first team from South Africa to win the trophy following their triumph over ASEC Mimosas.

The Buccaneers boast five appearances in the group stage or beyond in total, which includes a runners-up finish in the 2013 edition of the competition when they ended as losing finalists to Egyptian giants Al Ahly.

Best finish:  Champions (1995)
Notable appearances: Group stage (1997, 2018/19); Semi-final (2006); Runners-up (2013)

READ | The Orlando Pirates class of '95

Manning Rangers (1 appearance in the group stage or beyond)

Now-defunct Durban-based outfit Manning Rangers reached the group stage of the Champions League in 1998 but narrowly failed to progress directly to the final after being pipped to top spot by eventual champions ASEC Mimosas.

Best finish: Group stage (1998)

Mamelodi Sundowns (9 appearances in the group stage of beyond)

South Africa's dominant force in the Champions League in recent years, reigning domestic champions Mamelodi Sundowns have made more appearances in the group stages and beyond than any other team from the country.

Masandawana boast nine showings in the continent's crunch games, including two outings in the final, where they were defeated by Al Ahly in 2001 before winning their first star following a win over Zamalek 15 years later.

Best finish: Champions (2016)
Notable appearances: Group stage (2000, 2018, 2021/22*); Quarter-final (2017, 2019/20, 2020/21); Semi-final (2018/19); Runners-up (2001)

SuperSport United (1 appearance in the group stage or beyond)

Similarly to the aforementioned Manning Rangers, SuperSport United have made only one appearance in the group stages after their solitary outing during the 2004 campaign. On that occasion, Matsatsantsa departed bottom of the log, having taken just four points from a group that included Es Tunis, Jeanne d'Arc and USM Alger.

Best finish: Group stage (2004)

Ajax Cape Town (1 appearance in the group stage or beyond)

Best finish: Group stage (2005)

Ajax Cape Town fared worse in their maiden outing in the Champions League a year later when the club failed to win a single match a Group of Death which included Enyimba, Raja Casablanca and eventual champions, Al Ahly.

Kaizer Chiefs: (1 appearance in the group stage or beyond)

Best finish: Runners-up (2020/21)

Last season, on the fifth time of asking (excluding previous no-shows), Kaizer Chiefs reached the group stage of the Champions League for the first time in the club's illustrious history and went on to reach the final of the competition.

The Amakhosi came through a group that included Wydad Casablanca, Petro de Luanda and Horoya, before seeing off competition from Simba and Wydad in the knockout stage, but ultimately fell short at the final hurdle after being defeated by the Pitso Mosimane-led Al Ahly.

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