Wits and Sundowns: Flying the country’s flag high

A South African and a Caf flag fly side by side in Johannesburg. Picture: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images
A South African and a Caf flag fly side by side in Johannesburg. Picture: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns will be hoping to hoist the country’s flag in continental competitions this weekend.

The 2016 CAF Champions League champions Sundowns will on Friday night begin their quest to conquer the continent again with a clash against visiting Angola side Petro de Luanda.

The game at Loftus will kick-start Sundowns’ tight domestic and continental programme, which will see them spending Christmas away from home.

The Brazilians will want to start off their campaign on a positive note with a win in front of their home supporters.

Next week, Downs take a long trip to North Africa to visit continental rivals Wydad Casablanca in Morocco.

A solid start against the Angolans will put them in the driving seat ahead of their daunting trip to Morocco.

Pitso Mosimane is, however, sweating on the fitness of Themba Zwane, who has been sidelined for almost two months with a hamstring injury. But the utility midfielder is back in training and Mosimane might be tempted to throw him in the game – if he feels he is ready.

Sundowns will welcome back Gaston Sirino for tonight’s clash. Despite serving a two-match suspension in the domestic league, Sirino is available to feature in the CAF competition.

The Clever Boys

Meanwhile, Wits – South Africa’s remaining representatives in the CAF Confederation Cup – will welcome Horoya FC of Guinea at Bidvest Stadium for their first opening group match on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 6pm.

The Clever Boys have never reached this stage before and their coach Gavin Hunt is on a mission to prove his detractors wrong as he has also been accused of not taking continental competitions seriously.

Wits have now reached the group phase for the first time.

The 2017 League champions have dipped in form recently, having dropped five points in the last two Absa Premiership matches – a draw away at Highlands Park and a home loss to SuperSport United.

This should be a concern to Hunt, who will be hoping for a home victory before a trip to Mali against other pool opponents, Djoliba Athletic Club, next weekend.


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