Sundowns target fast start to group stage

Sundowns target fast start to group stage
Themba Zwane of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Musa Bilankulu of Golden Arrows during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Golden Arrows at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria on 07 May 2019 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix


Friday Nov 29, 2019. 09:00

Mamelodi Sundowns will target a fast start to their Group C campaign in the 2019/20 CAF Champions League when they welcome Angola’s Petro de Luanda to Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday, 30 November, kick-off at 21:00 CAT.

Sundowns earned their place in the group stage thanks to comfortable aggregate victories over AS Otoho (Congo, 5-2) and Cote d’Or (Seychelles, 16-1) in the qualifying rounds. Their prize is a place in a tough Group C, which includes Petro, Algerian contenders USM Alger and old foes Wydad Casablanca of Morocco.

The Brazilians are looking to repeat their 2016 continental triumph and come into this clash in solid form, having won back-to-back matches since the end of the international break earlier this month: 2-1 away to Golden Arrows last Saturday to earn a place in the Telkom Knockout final, followed by Tuesday evening’s 1-0 win over AmaZulu in the Absa Premiership.

“We just took the three points and went home. We still dominated the game to be honest. We played to win, they put a little bit of pressure the last ten minutes its normal, they went for everything,” Mosimane explained after the latter triumph, one in which he was able to field a slightly weakened line-up to keep key players fresh for the visit of Petro.

The Angolan side’s journey to the group stage has seen them overcome Lesotho’s Matlama 4-0 on aggregate, before edging Ugandan giants KCCA on away goals (after a 1-1 aggregate draw over two legs).

Yet ‘Os Tricolores’ should not be underestimated: they come into the game on the back of six straight wins in Angola’s domestic championship, the Girabola, and have not tasted defeat in any competition since late August. Coach Toni Cosano has made Petro a tough-to-beat team which will be looking to make a major statement in Tshwane on Saturday.

Egyptian referee Gehad Grisha will take charge of the match on Saturday night. The other Group C game will be played earlier in the evening and sees USM Alger host Wydad Casablanca at Stade du 5 Juillet.

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