Daily Dispatch

Leopards have Sudanese mission

- By NICK SAID

BLACK Leopards have been drawn against Sudanese side Al-merreikh in their 2012 Caf Confederat­ion Cup playoff round.

The team from Omdurman will be a massive test for Lidoda Duvha as they have been regular combatants in African competitio­ns over the last few seasons and played in the group stages of the Caf Champions League in 2009.

They were finalists of the 2007 Caf Confederat­ion Cup, but lost 5-2 on aggregate to Tunisian side CS Sfaxien. They also had nine of their players in the Sudan squad that reached the quarterfin­als of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.

The club recently appointed Brazilian coach Heron Ricardo Ferreira, but he was unable to steer them back to the pool stages of the Champions League this year.

The tie with Leopards will be played over two legs on the weekends of June 29 to July 1 and July 13 to July 15, with the South Africans in Sudan for the first match.

At least Leopards won’t have to worry about the facilities, the Al Merreikh Stadium received a revamp in 2009 and has a superb playing surface. It is also used for Sudan national team matches.

The draw for the group stages of the Caf Champions League was also made yesterday, with Egyptian giants Al Ahly and Zamalek pooled together in Group B. They are joined by Berekum Chelsea (Ghana) and TP Mazembe (DR Congo) in what is sure to be a fiercely contested pool.

Group A sees defending champions Esperance of Tunisia pooled with Sunshine Stars of Nigeria, ASO Chlef for Algeria and Tunisian side Etoile du Sahel.

Meanwhile, Leopards

caretaker coach Sunday Chidzambwa says Lidoda Duvha will give everything tonight when they face Jomo Cosmos at the Sinaba Stadium in Daveyton.

If Leopards win their penultimat­e game of the campaign, they will assure themselves a place in the top flight next season and will send Cosmos crashing down to the National First Division.

“We definitely need the win, no question, and we are aiming at it,” Chidzambwa said yesterday. “We have one more training session later today, but we are relaxed and will give a fight against Cosmos.”

Leopards were sweating on injuries to Rodney Ramagalela, Mongezi Bobe and Postnett Omony.

The trio missed Leopards’ Caf Confederat­ion Cup second-round win over Nigerian outfit Warri Wolves on Sunday. — Additional reporting by Sapa

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