PSL clubs have claimed their rightful place in the African club tournaments with three local sides having qualified for the group stages of the CAF inter-club competitions.
Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs on Tuesday secured their places in the group phase of the Champions League.
Orlando Pirates also advanced to the group stage of the second-tier Confederation Cup after their Angolan opponents, Sagrada Esperança, withdrew without honouring the second leg.
Sundowns secured a 5-1 aggregate win over Botswana’s Jwaneng Galaxy. The 2016 African champions buried their opponents with a 3-1 win at Loftus
Versfeld in Pretoria on Tuesday.
Goals from Kermit Erasmus, Mothibi Mvala and Thapelo Morena got the job done for Sundowns while Tebogo Sembowa scored the consolation for Galaxy.
The Brazilians have now qualified for the group stages of the premier continental club tournament for six consecutive seasons.
However, they have now done so for the first time without influential former coach Pitso Mosimane who joined Al Ahly last year.
Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi praised his team for advancing to the crucial stage.
“Considering that we have so many new players who have joined us and are only now getting used to our programme, they have done exceptionally well to progress to the group stage,” Mngqithi said.
“We have a base that we have built and are able to use different players in our system. I am pleased that we got the job done although I was not very happy with our overall performance against Jwaneng.”
Chiefs meanwhile broke their long-running duck by qualifying. Amakhosi advanced after securing a 1-0 win over Angolan side Primeiro de Agosto in Luanda thanks to a Leonardo Castro goal.
This has brought some welcome relief for coach Gavin Hunt whose team have been underperforming on the domestic front.
Chiefs have in the past been accused of not taking the CAF competition seriously. They have now silenced their doubters with the win.
Chiefs star Khama Billiat said: “It’s a great feeling to progress to the group stage. Credit goes to the technical team for preparing us for the competition.
“Everyone put in a good effort. It’s really good to go out there and test ourselves against African giants. It will give us confidence in our domestic games.”