The Caf Champions League has always seen plenty of patriotism among the South African clubs, unlike in Europe where there is little love lost between the clubs who play in the Uefa Champions League.
If a South African club is playing in the Champions League in Africa, their fellow countrymen will root for them, unlike in Europe where fans of one club will never back a rival “opponent”.
And now ahead 0f Kaizer Chiefs’ Caf Champions League semi-final clash with former two-time winners Wydad Casablanca in the first leg on Saturday night, Mamelodi Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana believes the Glamour Boys can do the unthinkable and snatch the whole thing.
The other semi-final is between defending champions Al-Ahly and Esperance of Tunis.
“It is a very good spot where Chiefs find themselves, their chances are very good because they are a team that is fearless and they have never been in that space,” said Kekana, who has skippered Masandawana in no fewer than 10 contests against Wydad.
Sundowns bombed out at the quarter-finals stage at the hands of Pitso Mosimane’s Red Devils. It is the second year running that Downs were eliminated by Al-Ahly at the same stage of the competition.
Kekana set the domestic rivalry between Downs and Chiefs aside and offered some advice to the Naturena-based side.
“Chiefs have little to lose in that match because their expectations are so low. It is always nice to play as an underdog in a competition like the Champions League; often when the least is expected of you, you do the business.
“I believe they stand a chance to go to the final. If they play the way they normally play, I think they stand a chance,” said Kekana.
The 36-year-old midfield veteran added: “Wydad are very tricky customers; their front three are so potent, they know how to play within their spaces so Chiefs just have to guard against the three. Once they deal with those three guys, I don’t see a lot of problems with Wydad.”