|2018 Total CAF Champions League|
|Dates||10 February – 9 November 2018|
|Teams||59 (from 47 associations)|
|Champions||Espérance de Tunis (3rd title)|
|Goals scored||351 (2.4 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)|| Walid Soliman|
Lazarous Kambole (5 goals each)
The 2018 CAF Champions League (officially the 2018 Total CAF Champions League for sponsorship reasons) was the 54th edition of Africa's premier club football tournament organized by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), and the 22nd edition under the current CAF Champions League title.
Espérance de Tunis won the title for the third time, defeating Al-Ahly in the final, and qualified as the CAF representative at the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, and also earned the right to play against the winners of the 2018 CAF Confederation Cup in the 2019 CAF Super Cup.
Wydad Casablanca were the defending champions, but were eliminated in the quarter-finals.
Association team allocation
All 56 CAF member associations may enter the CAF Champions League, with the 12 highest ranked associations according to their CAF 5-Year Ranking eligible to enter two teams in the competition. As a result, theoretically a maximum of 68 teams could enter the tournament – although this level has never been reached.
For the 2018 CAF Champions League, the CAF uses the 2012–2016 CAF 5-Year Ranking, which calculates points for each entrant association based on their clubs’ performance over those 5 years in the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup. The criteria for points are the following:
|CAF Champions League||CAF Confederation Cup|
|Winners||5 points||4 points|
|Runners-up||4 points||3 points|
|Losing semi-finalists||3 points||2 points|
|3rd place in groups||2 points||1 point|
|4th place in groups||1 point||1 point|
The points are multiplied by a coefficient according to the year as follows:
- 2016 – 5
- 2015 – 4
- 2014 – 3
- 2013 – 2
- 2012 – 1
The following 59 teams from 47 associations entered the competition:
Associations are shown according to their 2012–2016 CAF 5-Year Ranking – those with a ranking score have their rank and score indicated.
- Associations which did not enter a team
The schedule of the competition was as follows (matches scheduled in midweek in italics). The regulations were modified with an additional draw before the quarter-finals. Effective from the Champions League group stage, weekend matches were played on Fridays and Saturdays while midweek matches were played on Tuesdays, with some exceptions. Kick-off times were also fixed at 13:00 (Saturdays and Tuesdays only), 16:00 and 19:00 GMT.
|Phase||Round||Draw date||First leg||Second leg|
|Qualifying||Preliminary round||13 December 2017
|9–11 February 2018||20–21 February 2018|
|First round||6–7 March 2018||16–18 March 2018|
|Group stage||Matchday 1||21 March 2018
|4–5 May 2018|
|Matchday 2||15 May 2018|
|Matchday 3||17 July 2018|
|Matchday 4||27–28 July 2018|
|Matchday 5||17–18 August 2018|
|Matchday 6||28 August 2018|
|Knockout stage||Quarter-finals||3 September 2018
|14–15 September 2018||21–22 September 2018|
|Semi-finals||2 October 2018||23 October 2018|
|Final||2 November 2018||9 November 2018|
In the qualifying rounds, each tie was played on a home-and-away two-legged basis. If the aggregate score was tied after the second leg, the away goals rule would be applied, and if still tied, extra time would not be played, and the penalty shoot-out would be used to determine the winner (Regulations III. 13 & 14).
- Saint George won on walkover after Al-Salam Wau failed to arrive for the first leg.
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Wydad Casablanca||7–4||Williamsville AC||7–2||0–2|
|Aduana Stars||1–4||ES Sétif||1–0||0–4|
|Young Africans||1–2||Township Rollers||1–2||0–0|
|Gor Mahia||0–1||Espérance de Tunis||0–0||0–1|
|Étoile du Sahel||4–3||Plateau United||4–2||0–1|
|AS Togo-Port||3–3 (a)||Al-Hilal||2–0||1–3|
|ZESCO United||2–2 (a)||ASEC Mimosas||0–1||2–1|
|TP Mazembe||4–3||UD Songo||4–0||0–3|
|Difaâ El Jadidi||3–2||AS Vita Club||1–0||2–2|
|1º de Agosto||1–1 (3–2 p)||Bidvest Wits||1–0||0–1|
|Rayon Sports||0–2||Mamelodi Sundowns||0–0||0–2|
The draw for the group stage was held on 21 March 2018, 19:00 EET (UTC+2), at the Ritz Carlton in Cairo, Egypt. The 16 teams, all winners of the first round of qualifying, were drawn into four groups of four. The teams were seeded by their performances in the CAF competitions for the previous five seasons (CAF 5-Year Ranking points shown in parentheses). Each group contained one team from each of Pot 1, Pot 2, Pot 3, and Pot 4, and each team was drawn into one of the positions in their group.
|Pot||Pot 1||Pot 2||Pot 3||Pot 4|
The teams were ranked according to points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss). If tied on points, tiebreakers were applied in the following order (Regulations III. 20 & 21):
|2||Espérance de Tunis||6||3||2||1||8||4||+4||11||0–1||—||3–2||4–1|
|3||Difaâ El Jadidi||6||1||3||2||6||7||−1||6||0–2||1–1||—||2–0|
|1||Étoile du Sahel||6||3||3||0||10||4||+6||12||Quarter-finals||—||1–1||2–1||2–0|
|2||1º de Agosto||6||2||3||1||6||5||+1||9||1–1||—||2–1||2–1|
In the knockout stage, the eight teams played a single-elimination tournament. Each tie was played on a home-and-away two-legged basis. If the aggregate score was tied after the second leg, the away goals rule would be applied, and if still tied, extra time would not be played, and the penalty shoot-out would be used to determine the winner (Regulations III. 26 & 27).
The bracket was decided after the draw for the knockout stage (quarter-finals and semi-finals), which was held on 3 September 2018, 20:00 EET (UTC+2), at the CAF headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.
|Espérance de Tunis||1||3||4|
|1º de Agosto||0||1||1 (a)|
|1º de Agosto||1||2||3|
|Espérance de Tunis||0||4||4|
|Espérance de Tunis||2||1||3|
|Étoile du Sahel||1||0||1|
In the quarter-finals, the winners of one group played the runners-up of another group (teams from same group could not play each other), with the group winners hosting the second leg, and the matchups decided by draw.
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|1º de Agosto||1–1 (a)||TP Mazembe||0–0||1–1|
|Espérance de Tunis||3–1||Étoile du Sahel||2–1||1–0|
|ES Sétif||1–0||Wydad Casablanca||1–0||0–0|
In the semi-finals, the four quarter-final winners played in two ties, with the matchups and order of legs decided by draw.
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|1º de Agosto||3–4||Espérance de Tunis||1–0||2–4|
In the final, the two semi-final winners played each other, with the order of legs determined by the semi-final draw.
|Al-Ahly||3–1||Espérance de Tunis|
|Espérance de Tunis||3–0||Al-Ahly|
Espérance de Tunis won 4–3 on aggregate.
|1||Lazarous Kambole||ZESCO United||1||3||1||5|
|Anice Badri||Espérance de Tunis||2||1||1||1|
|Ben Malango||TP Mazembe||2||1||1|
|6||Youcef Belaïli||Espérance de Tunis||1||1||1||3|
|Lompala Bokamba||1º de Agosto||1||1||1|
|El Habib Bouguelmouna||ES Sétif||1||1||1|
|Saad Bguir||Espérance de Tunis||1||2|
|Meschak Elia||TP Mazembe||1||1||1|
|Geraldo||1º de Agosto||1||1||1|
In 2018, the fixed amount of prize money paid to the clubs is as follows:
|3rd in group stage||US$550,000|
|4th in group stage||US$550,000|
Note: National associations receive an additional equivalent share of 5% for each amount awarded to clubs.
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