Su­per­Sport bank­ing on away record

The New Age (Northern Cape) - - SPORT - NEVILLE KHOZA nevillek@the­newage.co.za

SU­PER­SPORT United’s im­pres­sive away record in the CAF Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup could be key when they meet TP Mazembe in the two­legged fi­nal.

With­out for­get­ting Mazembe’s cup pedi­gree in the con­ti­nen­tal com­pe­ti­tion, Su­per­Sport have im­pressed on the road.

With the first leg away in the Repub­lic of Congo on Sun­day, Eric Tin­kler’s charges will be look­ing to main­tain their im­pres­sive form.

They have not lost a match away since the group stages and have reg­is­tered de­cent re­sults to reach this stage.

Af­ter play­ing to a goal­less draw against Zesco United at home in the quar­ter­fi­nal first leg, Mat­sat­santsa a Pi­tori went to the re­turn leg in Zam­bia and scored twice in their 2-2 draw to ad­vance to the semi­fi­nal.

In the semi­fi­nal against Club Africain, they hosted the first leg in Pre­to­ria and took a 1-1 draw to Tu­nisia for the sec­ond leg. Many wrote them off but they showed char­ac­ter as they won the match 3­1 and 4­2 on ag­gre­gate.

This is the same per­for­mance that will be re­quired against Mazembe in Lubum­bashi on Sun­day if they are to stand a chance of win­ning their first con­ti­nen­tal com­pe­ti­tion.

When they went to Congo they fought back to record a 2-2 draw against the five times Cham­pi­ons League win­ners in the group stages in June af­ter go­ing two goals down.

They will be look­ing to put in the same per­for­mance against the reign­ing cham­pi­ons and are not short in self­be­lief.

Su­per­Sport CEO Stan Matthews be­lieves that with the same com­mit­ment the team has shown over the last few months, there is noth­ing that can stop them from win­ning the pres­ti­gious com­pe­ti­tion.

“We did it home and away in the group stages. We came from a 2­0 down against Mazembe there and we showed good char­ac­ter, so this team has a lot of self-be­lief at the mo­ment,” Matthews said.

“And you have to ride those waves when they come. Hope­fully, we can keep that mo­men­tum go­ing. It has been a long saga for us.

“We’ve been try­ing to keep mo­men­tum since April. One more push to try and keep the mo­men­tum in the team and the flu­id­ity that the boys have in them with their play­ing style and in their hearts.”

One con­cern for coach Eric Tin­kler is that he had to work with­out some of his key play­ers dur­ing the in­ter­na­tional break.

Ron­wen Wil­liams, Clay­ton Daniels, Mor­gan Gould, Bradley Grob­ler and Dean Furman were with Bafana Bafana, while Jeremy Brockie was on duty for New Zealand.

All these play­ers are ex­pected to re­turn late to­day and will be given a day off to­mor­row be­fore fly­ing to Congo on Fri­day.

PIC­TURE: GALLO IMAGES

HIGH STAKES: Su­per­Sport United skip­per Dean Furman will hope to se­cure a good re­sult in the first leg of the fi­nal on Sun­day.

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