SA teams to test their mettle against best in Africa
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.
DOUBTFUL Denis Onyango may miss the game against his home boys