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