SuperSport United 'under no pressure'
Posted: 30 July 2010 Time: 1:05 pm
South African champions SuperSport United are hoping to improve on what has been a dire performance from clubs from the country in recent African club competitions as they head to Morocco to face FUS Rabat in the CAF Confederation Cup third round, second leg, on Sunday.
United hold a 2-1 lead from the first leg, but might rue spurning a host of chances to make their advantage more emphatic going into what will be a hostile atmosphere in Rabat.
South African sides have disappointed in both the African Champions League and Confederation Cup in recent seasons, with accusations that they do not give their all and are too focussed on the far more financially lucrative domestic game.
But young midfielder Thandani Ntshumayelo says SuperSport are determined to show that they can be a force in the continental game. A stumbling block for this game is the host of injuries and absentees that has cut the squad to the bear minimum.
"What is important for us is to accept the situation the way it is and move on. Injuries are part and parcel of the game therefore we will have capable replacements for those who are unavailable for selection," Ntshumayelo told the club's official website.
"However, there's no pressure at all, we just need to go there and fight to win again. But it's not going to be an easy one. We did our homework and we are also prepared for clash.
"We won with a small margin in the first leg, but if we score more goals away and not concede, that will be fantastic for us. We must ensure that we don't concede, otherwise we will put ourselves under unnecessary pressure."
Kicking-off the weekend's action on Friday night are CR Belouizdad of Algeria who host Mali side Djoliba with the first leg locked at 0-0.
Former Mamelodi Sundowns coach Miguel Gamondi has just taken over the reins at Belouizdad and he will know that conceding a goal in this one could be a death-knell for his side in what is likely to be a tight contest.
"It is a difficult and important encounter for us," defender Mohamed Amine Aksas says. "The away leg results were positive for us but they can be a blessing in disguise. Conceding a goal will make things complicated for us and that is why I will be urging my colleagues to be vigilant throughout the 90 minutes of the game."
On Saturday, Botswanan giant-killers Gaborone United, who earlier in the year knocked South Africa side Orlando Pirates out of the African Champions League, take a 1-0 lead from the first leg to Egypt to face Haras el Hodoud.
On Sunday, Nigerian side Enyimba need to do the impossible and over-turn a 4-0 deficit from the first leg as they host Zanaco from Zambia, while Zimbabwean outfit CAPS United are all-but out having lost their first leg 5-0 away in Sudan against Al Hilal.
Another Sudanese team, Al Merreikh, also face an uphill task after only securing a 2-2 draw with Niger club ASFAN and now have to travel to Niamey needing a win.
Angolan side Premeiro de Agosto must overturn a 2-0 deficit at home to Libyan club Ittihad, while their compatriots Petro Atletico travel to Tunisia to face CS Sfaxien after a 0-0 draw in Angola in the first leg.