SA teams to test their met­tle against best in Africa

CityPress - - Sport - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI ti­mothy@city­press.co.za

It’s Uganda against South Africa in CAF com­pe­ti­tions at the week­end. It will also be the bat­tle of South African sides against the Al Ahlys.

Week­end CAF clashes will not only see two Ugan­dan sides try to out-mus­cle South African clubs, Egyp­tian gi­ants Al Ahly and a lesser­known Su­danese side – Al-Ahly Shendi – will also be com­ing up against two other lo­cal teams.

All eyes will be on CAF Cham­pi­ons League cham­pi­ons Mamelodi Sun­downs as they be­gin the de­fence of their ti­tle against Uganda cham­pi­ons Kampala City Coun­cil FC at Lu­cas Moripe Sta­dium on Satur­day.

The game could see Uganda goal­keeper Denis Onyango come up against his fel­low coun­try­men if he re­cov­ers in time for the clash. Af­ter get­ting a bye in the pre­lim­i­nary stages, the Brazil­ians will be ea­ger to con­tinue where they left off when they won the CAF Su­per Cup against TP Mazembe a fort­night ago.

But they are sweat­ing over the fit­ness of the CAF Player of the Year based in Africa, Onyango, who had to be stretchered off in Downs’ game against Bid­vest Wits last week­end with what looked like a knee in­jury.

The Ugan­dan cham­pi­ons warmed up for this clash with a 7-0 de­mo­li­tion of Ondu­paraka last week­end and the likes of for­mer Bloem­fontein Celtic striker Ge­of­frey Sserunk­uma will be out to prove a point to his for­mer South African side. Af­ter brush­ing aside “fish­er­men” from is­lands, the real busi­ness of African foot­ball starts for Bid­vest Wits and Su­perS­port United in the next round of con­ti­nen­tal foot­ball. It was ex­pected that Wits, Su­perS­port and Platinum Stars would sail through to the next round of con­ti­nen­tal com­pe­ti­tions, but they made an easy job look hard. Both United and Wits were un­con­vinc­ing in their vic­to­ries over ASSM El­geco Plus and SS Saint Louisi­enne, re­spec­tively, and will have to be at their best against stronger op­po­si­tion. The Stu­dents have a big one against record-hold­ers Al Ahly of Egypt in the Cham­pi­ons League clash at Al-Salam Sta­dium on Satur­day, while United travel to Su­dan for a date with AlAhly Shendi in the Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup. The Clever Boys know that com­ing up against the eight-time cham­pi­ons will not be easy and they will have to per­form bet­ter than in the pre­vi­ous round. Wits coach Gavin Hunt has al­ready in­di­cated that he is eye­ing the group stages of the Cham­pi­ons League, but they would have to cross the Al Ahly hur­dle first. Stu­art Baxter’s side go into un­known ter­ri­tory in Su­dan, but, with their cur­rent form, United should be too good for the Su­danese. Another South African side in­volved in the Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup is Platinum Stars, who travel to Uganda to play Vipers.

PHOTO: MUZI NTOMBELA / BACKPAGEPIX PHOTO: CHRIS RICCO / BACKPAGEPIX

DOUBT­FUL Denis Onyango may miss the game against his home boys

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