Downs rising with top 10 African giants

As the 2019/20 CAF Champions League group stage edges closer, Mamelodi Sundowns are rising in the top 10 with Africa's elite football clubs.

A two-legged first-round tie against Seychelles league champions Côte d'Or stands in the way of Sundowns' latest group stage qualification.
 
 
If all goes to script, it will be the fifth time coach Pitso Mosimane leads his charges to this stage of Africa's elite club competition since his arrival in 2012.
 
Having led the Brazilians to their first crown in 2016, the following seasons have produced quarter-final, group stage and semi-final finishes.
 
This has taken Downs' overall tally to six appearances in the group stages since it was introduced by the Confederation of African Football in 1997.
 
 
It comes as no surprise to see the North African giants dominating the top ten list with record eight-time champions Al Ahly featuring a staggering 16 times.
 
This ranks as a joint-record with Tunisian champions Esperance, who have lifted the Champions League title in successive seasons.
 
Amongst the other clubs that are listed in the top ten include ASEC Mimosas, TP Mazembe, Etoile Du Sahel, Raja Casablanca and Enyimba.
 
The Big Three
 
With Masandawana leading the way with six seasons in the group stage, the second-best from the South African top-flight is Orlando Pirates.
 
The Buccaneers featured in the inaugural campaign in 1997, in 2006 when they reached the semi-final under the guidance of Milutin Sredojevic, the 2013 final under Roger de Sa and the group stages again last season under 'Micho'.
 
Kaizer Chiefs are yet to qualify for this stage of the competition.

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