SOUTH AFRICAN CLUBS SHIFT FOCUS TO CONTINENTAL GOAL

South African trio, Mamelodi Sundowns, Supersport United and Platinum Stars will be taking a breather from their hectic domestic schedule to shift focus over to the Total CAF Champions League and Total CAF Confederation Cup respectively.

Sundowns host Ethiopian side, Saint George in the opening fixture of their Total CAF Champions League group stage while cross town rivals Supersport United welcome Horoya of Guinea in the second-tier Total CAF Confederation Cup.

North West-based side, Platinum Stars will be hoping to continue their dream campaign when they welcome MC Alger of Algeria at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on Sunday in the same competition. The debutants made a historic comeback to secure their spot in Group B when they reversed a 2-0 deficit to overcome AS Tanda of Cote d’Ivoire 5-4 on penalties last month. A win on Sunday for Platinum Stars will certainly boost their progression hopes with even tougher fixtures against former champions, CS Sfaxien and Swaziland’s Mbabane Swallows yet to take place.

Ahead of the Saint George clash, Sundowns need to keep pressure on domestic league leaders, Bidvest Wits, as they welcome relegation threatened, Baroka FC on Wednesday (10 May 2017) where anything less than a win could see them surrender their title to Wits.

Sundowns coach, Pitso Mosimane recently admitted that the club has not done well domestically following their exceptional run last season. The outspoken coach recently came under fire from his title chasing counterparts after playing down he importance of local titles.

Rather than winning the league and Nedbank Cup (South African FA Cup), I would rather win the CAF Champions League and CAF Super Cup. Domestically we might not win anything but we can go to the FIFA Club World Cup in December, that for me is history for Sundowns, said Mosimane.

The ‘Brazilians’ have been drawn in Group C which boasts two previous continental champions in AS Vita of DR Congo and Tunisia’s Esperance.

It is going to be very tough. In fact it will be even tougher considering the fact that most clubs know who Sundowns is. We have the experience now and know what is needed to get positive results out of such matches. We have the quality and depth and will take it one game at a time � just as we did last year, said Mosimane, who guided Sundowns to win the premier continental club championship last year.

Cross town rivals, Supersport United on the other hand go into their clash against Horoya breaming with confidence after denting Cape Town City’s title ambitions with a 4-2 win at home on Tuesday night.

The club from the nation’s capital will not let the imminent departure Scottish man, Stuart Baxter to deter their focus. Baxter was recently recalled to fill the vacant South Africa coaching post following the dismissal of Shakes Mashaba last year.

A victory for ‘Matsantsa’ will be a major confidence booster with tough encounters against powerhouse TP Mazembe and CF Mounana of Gabon also on the cards.

Source: Confederation Africaine de Football

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