Mamelodi Sundowns begin Champions League defence

    /    Mar 10, 2017   /     Sports  /    0 Comments  /    98 Views

Champions League title-holders Mamelodi Sundowns begin their defence of the trophy on Friday as the top-ranked clubs enter the competition at the last-32 stage.

The South African side will be expected to ease past Kampala Capital City Authority of Uganda over the two-legged tie but should beware of a team in form.

KCCA FC coach Mike Mutebi is optimistic his side can pull off a shock.

“Do not write us off because we are playing the defending champions,” he told BBC Sport. “They have the experience, but we have a good team that continues to work hard and get results,” Mutebi told BBC.

“It is very possible to get a win away. My players should have confidence in their abilities.”

Captain Denis Okot added: “If Sundowns undermine us, they will be shocked.”

KCCA’s goal threat will come from Geoffrey Sserunkuma, who has netted two goals in the Champions League so far and leads the league scorers chart with 12 goals.

Sundowns may be without Uganda international goalkeeper Denis Onyango, who faces a fitness test, while returning striker Anthony Laffor is expected to feature in the game.

This stage of the Champions League also sees the four most successful clubs in African competitions enter the fray – and all are expected to build first-leg leads.

Record 19-time title winners Al Ahly of Egypt face South African league leaders Wits, who are playing in the elite African competition for the first time.

TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo, second behind Ahly with 10 successes, meet unimpressive preliminary round winners CAPS United of Zimbabwe.

Zamalek of Egypt, winners of nine continental competitions and 2016 Champions League runners-up, tackle Enugu Rangers of Nigeria in an attractive match-up.

Etoile Sahel of Tunisia, the only club to win all five current and past Confederation of African Football competitions, also boast nine titles ahead of a clash with AS Tanda of the Ivory Coast.

There are a total of eight past Champions League winners in the round.

Esperance of Tunisia, V Club of DR Congo and Wydad Casablanca of Morocco complete the line-up of clubs who lifted the richest and most prized African trophy.

Another five challengers, Leopards of Congo Brazzaville, FUS Rabat of Morocco, Horoya of Guinea, Al Merrikh of Sudan and Enugu, have won other Caf titles.

BBC

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