Pitso poised for CAF milestone
Posted: 7 March 2018 Time: 12:45
Pitso Mosimane will become the first South African coach to oversee 50 matches in CAF club competition when he leads Mamelodi Sundowns against Rayon Sports tonight.
The first round, first leg tie of this year's Champions League against the Rwandan champions will be played at the Amahoro Stadium in Kigali (18h00).
The very first game that Mosimane supervised as head coach in continental club competition was while he was in charge of SuperSport United in the 2004 Champions League.
That preliminary round tie against Civics of Namibia on March 6, 2004 was won 5-0 by Matsatsantsa at home courtesy of goals by Aubin Takutchie, Cavaan Sibeko, Tsweu Mokoro and a brace by the late Abram Raselemane.
SuperSport played in the continent's premier club competition that year by virtue of having finished second behind domestic league champions Orlando Pirates in the 2002/03 season.
Mosimane's men reached the group stages but finished bottom of Group B which had Tunisian powerhouse Esperance, Jeanne d'Arc of Senegal and USM Alger (Algeria).
After overseeing 12 games - which also included two legged ties against AS Port Louis and Al Hilal in the first and second rounds respectively - on the continent in his debut year as a head coach in Africa, Mosimane then added another six in 2005 in the CAF Confederation Cup.
In 2015 - his first year back in Africa at club level - Mosimane was in charge of four games as The Brazilians came unstuck in the first round at the hands of Congolese powerhouse TP Mazembe, having overcome St Michel of Seychelles in the preliminary round.
Then came the famous Champions League-winning campaign in 2016 during which they played 14 games - all of them with Mosimane in charge.
They also played another two matches in the Confederation Cup play-off round before they were then reinstated into the Champions League after AS Vita - the team that had knocked them out in the second round of the Champions' League - were disqualified for fielding an ineligible player in their preliminary round tie against Mafunzo of Zanzibar.
Sundowns were then handed a walkover and proceeded to the group stages where their first game against ES Setif was annulled after the Algerians were also disqualified for pitch invasions.
The match against the Algerians is not factored into these statistics.
Last year the 53-year-old took charge of the CAF Super Cup and 10 matches in the Champions League to reach 49 games.
As Downs open up a fresh account in the Champions League - Mosimane will walk with pride knowing that he has notched up yet another milestone in his coaching career.