Mamelodi Sundowns rack up another CAF milestone by securing Champions League football
Posted: 17 April 2018 Time: 17:30
Mamelodi Sundowns will be the first South African side to play in the CAF Champions League for five years in a row after their weekend win over Bidvest Wits sealed their place in next year’s event.
Whatever happens in the remaining league matches Sundowns will finish second at worst – which still guarantees them Champions League football for the fifth year running.
South Africa will again enter two teams in the next editions of the two CAF competitions (Champions League and Confederations Cup) as the country remains ranked in the top 12 in the CAF five-year rankings.
The next edition of the Champions League will run from December 2018 to May 2019 with CAF moving its club competitions from a full calendar year programme to an August-May schedule.
Sundowns are already through to the group stages of this year’s Champions League having been placed in Group C with Wydad Casablanca, Horoya AC and AS Togo-Port.
Since Pitso Mosimane took over at Sundowns in December 2012 they have gone on to play in the Champions League in 2015 (first round), 2016 (champions), 2017 (quarter-finals) and 2018 (already in group stages).
Prior to that they had played Champions League in 1994 (second round), 1999 (second round), 2000 (group stages), 2001 (runners-up), 2006 (first round), 2007 (play-offs) and 2008 (play-offs).
On the local scene The Brazilians are within sight of their eighth PSL title as they need a maximum of seven points from four games remaining against Golden Arrows, Maritzburg United, Ajax Cape Town and Bloemfontein Celtic.
If their nearest rivals and only challengers for the title Orlando Pirates don’t take all the points from their remaining three games against Bidvest Wits, Cape Town City and Free State Stars then Pitso Mosimane will need less than seven points.
Sundowns have 52 points at the moment with four games to play. Second- placed Pirates have 49 with three to play.
The Brazilians can also still finish as Nedbank Cup winners as they are already through to the semi-finals.