Time for exchanging pleasantries is all but over for Vipers Sports Club.
The Ugandan champions do know their enemies and will be on the prowl in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League Group C, after the continental ruling body drew the battlelines.
There will be no stopping for Uganda’s representatives as they seek to script a fairytale run and etch further into history books when they lock horns with three other sides; regional giants Simba SC of Tanzania, Guinea’s Horoya Athletic and three-time champions Raja Casablanca of Morocco.
The Venoms will kickstart their first-ever Champions League Group Stage voyage with a trip to North Africa for a date against Raja Casablanca on either February 10th or 11th, 2023, before welcoming Horoya Athletic at St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende for an inaugural home duel between February 17th-18th.
Rest will be a myth for Vipers who are scheduled to Simba a week later in an epic duel before completing the double-header with the heavily-supported Tanzania outfit between March 7th-8th in Dar-es Salaam.
These are the six matchdays, with the teams we’ll face on each day:
Matchday 1: February 10-11
Raja Casablanca v Vipers SC
Matchday 2: February 17-18
Vipers SC v Horoya Athletic Club
Matchday 3: February 24-25
Vipers SC v Simba SC
Matchday 4: March 7
Simba SC v Vipers SC
Matchday 5: March 17-18
Vipers SC v Raja Casablanca
Matchday 6: March 31 – April 1
Horoya Athletic Club v Vipers SC
Coach Roberto Oliviera’s men wrap up the coveted group stage; first with a home date against Raja Casablanca between March 17th-18th, and seal it off with a trip to Guinea to play Horoya Athletic between March 31st – April 01st.
Vipers eliminated Champions League five-time winners TP Mazembe in the final preliminary round via a penalty shootout victory in Lubumbashi to reach the coveted stages.
The Venoms had earlier dumped Central African Republic franchise Olympic Real De Bangui on a 4-0 aggregate after two dominant legs before the Mazembe conquest.
The draw in full
In the other groups, defending Champions Wydad AC have been placed in Group A, along with Angola’s Petro du Luanda, Algeria’s JS Kabylie and DRC’s AS Vita.
Group B will have Denis Onyango’s Mamelodi Sundowns, record holders Al Ahly of Egypt, Sudan’s Al Hilal and Cameroon’s Coton Sport
Meanwhile, Group D will have Tunisia’s ES Tunis, Egypt’s Zamalek, CR Belouzidad of Algeria and Sudan’s Al Merrikh SC.