TP Mazembe, Petro de Luanda, Wydad Athletic Club, Esperance and Mamelodi
Sundowns will be looking to seal group stage slots in the Total Energies CAF
Champions League on Saturday.
Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa already have one foot into the group phases
as they lead Burundian side Bumamuru 4-0 from the first leg played a fortnight
Sundowns host the return tie in their backyard in South Africa, and more or less
need to avoid defeat or in the least even lose the game 3-0 and they will still make
the group stages.
Despite having a healthy lead and seemingly an easy return tie at home, Sundowns
are not letting their guard down, and they say they will put everything into the tie
to ensure smooth passage.
Downs’ midfielder, Rivaldo Coetzee, believes that the second leg match won’t be
easy even though they have an advantage.
“This is the Champions League, there is never an easy game even though we are 4-
0 up after the first leg. We continue to prepare for every game the same because
it’s the culture of the club and we want to win every match, so we will go into this
match with the same mentality,” Coetzee told the club’s official website.
He added; “It’s a whole new game so I think Bumamuru FC will come out maybe
a little bit more aggressive than they did in the first leg because they know what
they have to overcome if they want to go through. We also know what we need to
do because it’s our duty to the club and ourselves to put us in the group stages.”
Meanwhile, Petro de Luanda will be at home taking on Mozambique’s UD Songo,
carrying with them a slim 2-1 advantage from the first leg played away from home.
Petro are looking to book a third consecutive group stage slot and will need either a
draw or any kind of win at home to make the next phase of the competition.
In Rades, Tunisian giants Esperance du Tunis will be at home, taking on AS
Douanes of Burkina Faso, in what will be a definite tricky duel. They won the first
leg 1-0 in Ouagadougou two weeks ago, and will be keen not to concede at home
to complicate their chances.
Last year’s losing finalists Wydad Athletic Club will also face a tricky duel at
home as they play host to Guinea’s Hafia. The first leg played in Conakry last
weekend ended in a 1-1 draw, but the Moroccans will hope the single away goal
will be a small cushion.
Just like Esperance, conceding a goal would be detrimental to their chase. A 0-0
draw will be enough to sail them into the next round, but a scoring draw of more
than two goals would sail the Guinean side through.
In Lubumbashi, TP Mazembe will look to make the group stages after missing last
season, and they will host Malawi’s Nyasa Big Bullets at home. Mazembe lead 1-0
from the first leg played in Blantyre last weekend, and will need in the least a draw
to confirm their place in the group phase.
The five-time champions have struggled on the continent for the last few years, but
are looking to make a statement especially with the African Football League
coming up next month.