Cape Town - Mamelodi Sundowns' trip to Kinshasa to play Vita Club is a 'must-not-lose' CAF Champions League encounter, according to coach Pitso Mosimane.
The defending African champions began their Group C campaign with a somewhat disappointing 0-0 home draw to Ethiopian side Saint George, while Esperance de Tunis beat AS Vita 3-1 to lead the standings after one round.
A fatigued Sundowns head into Wednesday's game in the DR Congo having conceded their domestic title in South Africa to Bidvest Wits last week.
Mosimane is looking for his team to focus all their remaining energy on Africa, and remains hopeful of becoming only the fourth club in the competition's 53-year history (after Al Ahly of Egypt, TP Mazembe of DR Congo and Nigerian side Enyimba) to successfully defend the Champions League title.
"A tough challenge, but not an impossible one," Mosimane was quoted saying by AFP. "It is an extremely difficult fixture, with both teams desperate for points.
"Above all, we do not want to lose in Kinshasa. V Club are bottom of the group and our mission is to keep them there, hopefully with a win.
"After Kinshasa, we host Esperance and winning that match could get us back on track in defence of the title."
Sundowns were actually knocked out of the Champions League last season by the Black Dolphins, but got reinstated after it was found that the DR Congo giants had fielded suspended Malian player Idrissa Traore, before going on to be crowned champions.