Africa: Pacheco Insists Pyramids Can Win Title Despite Giant Task

Pyramids coach Jaime Pacheco believes his team can achieve TotalEnegies CAF Champions League glory at the first attempt, despite facing two former champions in a daunting group-stage draw.

The Egyptians get their maiden group stage continental campaign underway against five-time winners TP Mazembe of DR Congo at the Air Defense Stadium on Friday night.

Pacheco acknowledges overcoming such vastly experienced opponents will be difficult. However, he insists debutants Pyramids can defy expectations to reach the final.

"Our goal is to win the Champions League even though it is the first participation," the Portuguese stated pre-match.

Mazembe and 2016 champions Mamelodi Sundowns join Nouadhibou of Mauritania alongside Pyramids in Group B.

"It is a strong group with two previous winners. But we have great hope despite this being our first tournament," Pacheco added.

Pyramids possess numerous players who have featured in past TotalEnegies CAF Champions League campaigns. Pacheco believes that experience blended with the hunger of debutants can inspire a historic triumph.

However, a raft of absentees including striker Walter Bwalya does not aid preparations before hosting Mazembe.

"I respect the squad and have confidence they can compensate for the absences," Pacheco noted. "We have the strength and passion to achieve something big."

Pyramids may require an exceeding underdog effort just to progress from the group against battle-hardened company.

But Pacheco maintains his team are ready to handle intense travel, varying conditions and esteemed rivals during an momentous maiden mission.

On their TotalEnegies CAF Champions League group stage bow under the Friday night lights of Cairo, Pyramids get an immediate chance to showcase their potential at Africa's top table.

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