Keagan Dolly of Mamelodi Sundowns(7) celebrates a goal with Khama Billiat of Mamelodi Sundowns uring the Absa Premiership match between Free State Stars and Mamelodi Sundowns on 07 February 2016 at James Motlatsi Stadium Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix
Thursday Apr 07, 2016. 10:31
AS Vita will look to make the most of home advantage when they host Mamelodi Sundowns for the first leg of their CAF Champions League second round clash on Sunday. Kick-off at the Stade Tata Raphael in Kinshasa is set for 16h30 CAT.
Vita have overcome Zanzibar’s Mafunzo and Ferroviario de Maputo of Mozambique en route to reaching this stage of the competition, and will now face the South Africans with a place in the lucrative group stage on the line.
‘Black Dolphins’ coach Florent Ibenge is set to be without several key players, such as Héritier Luvumbu, Mabele Bawaka, Emmanuel Ngudikama and Nelson Munganga, but remains bullish about his team’s chances.
"We continue to work to make a better performance against Mamelodi Sundowns,” he told DRC media.
“Why do you fear Mamelodi Sundowns? They will have eleven players on the field, the same as us. I'm not afraid of this club.”
The Brazilians have proven their worthiness in the Champions League with a last-gasp win over Zimbabwe’s Chicken Inn, before a more assured performance to overcome Congo’s highly-rated AC Leopards in the previous round.
Coach Pitso Mosimane has already seen his side bounce back from defeat in the continental competition but believes they cannot afford a first-leg loss against a team with Vita’s class.
“We lose, we draw, we come back... I hope we don’t lose again because it's crucial now. We can't take a loss in Kinshasa, we need to get good results and play smart and clever,” said Mosimane.
Somalian referee Hagi Yabarow Wiish will take charge of the match in Kinshasa. The return leg is set to be played at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on 19-20 April.