Win or bust for goal-shy Sundowns

Pitso Mosimane coach of Mamelodi Sundowns (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Pitso Mosimane coach of Mamelodi Sundowns (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

It’s do or die for Mamelodi Sundowns as they welcome high flying Horoya of Guinea in a win at all costs Group C encounter at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Tuesday in Pretoria.

The 2016 champions find themselves in a rather difficult situation after dropping crucial points in their previous matches and anything less than a win in the ultimate match will see them kiss their continental dream goodbye for the second year in a row after bowing to eventual winners, Wydad Athletic Club of Morocco at the quarters last year.

The South Africans have themselves to blame for the situation they find themselves in. After leading Horoya 2-1 with less than 10 minutes to full time in the previous meeting between the two clubs a few months ago, they allowed the Guineans back into the game as they salvaged a 2-2 draw to earn a vital point which could be the difference in the upcoming encounter.

In Lome, series of wasted opportunities saw Sundowns punished by an unlikely AS Port which remains the only win for the Togolese side who face Wydad in a dead rubber encounter in the other Group C match also on Tuesday in Lome

READ: Coetzee’s Sundowns debut delayed by injury

With their fate in their very own hands, the Brazilians will be looking at the likes of Gaston Sirino, Themba Zwane and Sibusiso Vilakazi to unlock what will most likely be a stubborn and defensive Horoya side who just need a point to secure a historic knockout stage berth.

Coach Pitso Mosimane, who rested some of his key players in a first leg domestic cup competition at the weekend which they lost 1-0 to Cape Town City, conceded that they put themselves in this predicament but remains optimistic for a positive result on home soil.

“Our chances are 50-50. All we need to do is win our last match at home and we are through. We will win against Horoya. We are strong when playing at home and we know what needs to be done,” said a confident Mosimane.

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The departure of the dangerous trio of Khama Billiat, Percy Tau and Keagan Dolly has Sundowns blowing hot and cold on the continent – lacking that firepower upfront which saw them put a number of African powerhouses to the sword.

With a place in the knockout stages well in sight, Horoya may be looking at soaking up the pressure and catching the hosts on the counter which will require careful planning from the Sundowns technical staff.

Fixtures, Group A:

Alexandria: Al Ahly (Egypt) vs KCCA (Uganda)
Gaborone: Rollers (Botswana) vs Esperance (Tunisia)

Group B:

Lubumbashi: TP Mazembe (DR Congo) vs Difaa El Jadidi (Morocco)
Algiers: MC Alger (Algeria) vs ES Setif (Algeria)

Group C:

Pretoria: Sundowns (South Africa) vs Horoya (Guinea)
Lome: AS Port (Togo) vs Wydad (Morocco)

Group D:

Ndola: Zesco (Zambia) vs Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia)
Luanda: Primeiro de Agosto (Angola) vs Mbabane Swallows (Swaziland)

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