Travelling to away games in African football is a major test of character at the best of times, but this weekend two teams seeking a place in the semi-finals of the CAF Champions League will need even more than the usual dollop of resolve.

Both Asante Kotoko of Ghana and Nigeria's Enyimba are away from home in the final round of group matches in this year's competition, although they may opt for different gameplans to ensure their progress through to the final four, with one needing three points and the other requiring just one.

Enyimba are in a preferable position as they must only avoid defeat in their match against South Africa's Orlando Pirates at Ellis Park in Johannesburg to ensure they reach the semi-finals for the third time in four years.

If they are beaten, however, then it is the Pirates who will be sailing the high seas into the semi-finals by taking second place in Group B.

Kotoko, meanwhile, know that nothing less than a win against hosts CS Sfaxien will do if they are to join holders Al Ahly of Egypt in the last four, with their Tunisian opponents currently two points better off in the standings and only requiring a draw to progress.

Also already through are ASEC Abidjan, who are guaranteed top spot in Group B with a 4-0 thrashing of Pirates in the Ivorian capital last Sunday.

Enyimba kept alive their chances with a dramatic last-gasp 1-0 win over Hearts of Oak of Ghana in their penultimate Group B match in Aba on Sunday, but their form in this year's competition has been patchy.

Ironically, Pirates are hoping that one of Enyimba's former stars, midfield playmaker Onyekachi Okonkwo, can successfully orchestrate downfall of the Nigerian club on Saturday. Okonkwo, who returns from a one-match ban to the Pirates' starting line-up, was a member of the Enyimba side that won back-to-back CAF Champions League titles in 2003 and 2004.

Pirates insist the four-goal drubbing they received last weekend is now forgotten, although their new Serbian coach Milutin Sredojevic did admit that lessons must be learned. "We are working hard at defending set pieces because that is where we have been losing our concentration," he acknowledged. 

Stakes high for Enyimba
After five years of successive Champions League participation, Enyimba need to keep on track for victory in this year's tournament or face missing out on Africa's top club event altogether next season.

They did not win their domestic championship this season and, as a result, will not play in next year's Champions League - unless, of course, they are the defending champions.

As if their incentive wasn't great enough, the Nigerians' players have been told they will share in a $50 000 USD bonus if they make the semi-finals, the money having been put up by the governor of Abia State, where the team is based.

In Tunisia, Kotoko will again look to the goalscoring prowess of former Ghana international Nana Arhin Duah, who netted twice in last Saturday's 2-1 home win over Algeria's JS Kabylie, when they travel to face CS Sfaxien.

However, they too go up against one of their compatriots, with Sfaxien likely to field Ghanaian Joetex Frimpong in attack as they bid to win this make-or-break encounter.

Qualification is still within touching distance for the Tunisians, who could also end up topping Group A provided they win on Sunday and Al Ahly lose their final game away to JS Kabylie.