CAF : Bafana Ba Style looking to tame AC Leopards
Mamelodi Sundowns take the next step in their quest for CAF Champions League glory when they take on Congolese side Athletic Club Leopards de Dolisie (AC Leopards) at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville at 20h15 on Saturday.
This is the first leg of the CAF Champions League 1/16th round of fixtures, with the second leg taking place next weekend in Dolisie.
Sundowns come off a hard fought CAF 2–0 victory over Zimbabwe champions Chicken Inn, but would have used that experience to prepare themselves for the tougher rounds that await them in the CAF Champions League.
It will be a tough test no doubt. Leopards are unbeaten in their last 12 games in all competitions and have won eight of their last nine games, conceding only five goals in 2016 so far, scoring 25. In their last outing, they beat CARA Brazzaville 2–1, and kept clean sheets in the previous two games in 2–0 and 4-0 victories. They last dropped points in their league run in a 2–2 draw against JS Talangai, who are fourth in the Congo league.
The Brazilians too have an excellent record this season and are unbeaten at home in their last 14 games in all competitions and have won 12 of those. In 2016 Sundowns have amassed 24 goals whilst conceding only 7 in all competitions. Thus far they boast the best offensive and defensive record in the PSL.
This match will provide an indication as to the strength of the respective leagues as the PSL log leaders and champions-elect go toe to toe with their Congolese counterparts.
Leopards last visited these shores when they took on Orlando Pirates in the CAF Confederations Cup , with the Buccaneers beating them 2–0 after winning by a single goal in Congo.Leopards will be formidable challengers and the Brazilians will have to dig deep to ensure a good goal lead going into the second leg in Congo.
Pitso Mosimane has made it quite clear that his ambition is the star that goes with winning this prestigious continental title, and will have been poring over the footage of his opponents to find chinks in their armour.
Leonardo Castro and Hlompho Kekana will both be available for selection after having served their one match suspensions. The Sundowns midfield will be beefed up by the return of Kekana who has been a mainstay for the Brazilians this season and he will be sure to put in another good shift following his call-up yesterday to Bafana Bafana.
Tebogo Langerman is likely to miss this match whilst Mzikayise Mashaba and Thabo Nthethe are recovering well and are likely to feature in the big clash.
Source : Sundowns FC