Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana would love to see his former side overcome the DRC giants to become the first South African team to win the competition, and believes they have what it takes to dethrone the defending champions.
The first leg will be played in Lubumbashi on Sunday, a city Sundowns are familiar with having previously played there in the Champions League.
Matsatsantsa also won’t be new to the environment, thanks to their group stage meeting back in June. The game finished 2-2, as SuperSport came from two goals down to secure a vital point away from home.
“When I look at SuperSport, we as Sundowns are proud to have set an example to South Africans, to show that it’s possible to be at that stage and even win it. There’s not many people who gave them a chance to be in the final, so for them this is huge and I am happy for them. I wish they can win it,” Kekana tells KickOff.com.
“It will be easier for SuperSport because they have played Mazembe twice in the group stages, so they know who they will be coming up against. It’s easier to prepare against people you have played against. I saw the way they played in Lubumbashi, when they got the 2-2 result. It shows that Mazembe is beatable and it shows SuperSport have the capacity to win the game. I don’t doubt SuperSport. If they put their foot down, I believe they can do it.”
When Sundowns won the Champions League last year by beating Egyptian giants Zamalek, they had done enough in the first leg in Atteridgeville to win the competition, despite their narrow defeat in Alexandria in the second leg.
For SuperSport it’s the other way around. The second leg will be in Pretoria, which gives them an opportunity to lift the trophy on home soil.
Kekana just stressed the importance of keeping a clean sheet in Lubumbashi on Sunday.
“I believe this is an advantage that they will be playing the first leg away from home. The only thing that will be against them is the pressure that side. Once they contain the pressure that side, then they can win. They need to make sure they do not concede, then they have a good chance of winning the game here at home [in the second leg].”
He adds: “SuperSport is one of the biggest teams in South Africa. They are a well run team and the people who run the team have football brains. So you don’t get surprised when they do well. To see the team where they are, I am proud of them.”
Kekana, meanwhile, said he is doing well following the tragic news that he had lost his mother-in-law in a car accident last week. He had to be excused from the Bafana Bafana camp and missed out on the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Senegal in Polokwane on Friday.