Downs' big benefit against Mazembe

CAF Champions League

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has described their CAF Champions League draw as a tricky affair and explained the travelling difficulties they are expecting.

Sundowns have been drawn against African soccer giants TP Mazembe, top Sudanese top side Al Hilal and CR Belouizdad of Algeria in the group stage set to start in February.

The Brazilians will begin their journey to qualify for the quarter-finals with a clash against Al Hilal during the week of Valentine's Day.

Mngqithi has since welcomed the Champions League league draw but is worried about travel and flight challenges.

"Its quite tricky. At this stage of the Champions League you can expect anything," he said at the weekend.

"But one would have wanted to have a little bit of a more direct flight, which is probably not what we may get because even Lubumbashi doesn't have a direct flight at this stage.

"In terms of opponents, it's a very tricky affair because Al Hilal at this stage in my mind if one of the teams looking a little bit stronger and a team we need to tread carefully, and travelling to that side is not always easy.

"Let's hope that in our first game when we play against them at home we get maximum points."

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"TP Mazembe is always a tricky affair," he continued. "One is a little bit fortunate the fans are not coming to the stadium because that environment can look hostile for the youngsters and the new players, but I believe we have what it takes to compete in that space.

"RC Belouizdad from Algeria are new kids on the block that we need to treat very carefully and look at what they are offering. The only bad thing again about that trip is that there is never a direct flight.

"You have to go to Europe and at times Dubai then come back to Algeria and it's always a strain to the team and everyone around the team. But we are hopeful that we are going to get it right."

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