O'Loughlin: Vita are no pushovers

The Congolese giants have come up tops in their matches against the Pretoria side as they registered a 3-2 aggregate win against them in the 2009 Confederation Cup.

Prior to that, the two sides met in 1994 and played to a 4-4 aggregate result in an African Cup of Champions tie, but the South Africans were knocked out on the away goals rule.

"The CAF Champions and Confederations Cup are the supreme targets for teams such as AS Vita. It is what they strive for, it is where they seek glory and it is in such competitions that their players have a chance to win big money and big prizes. So they take this competition very seriously.

"And they have demonstrated this by reaching the CAF Champions League final two years ago, so they will not be taking this game lightly," warned O'Loughlin.

O'Loughlin, who recently parted ways from Belgian side Sint-Truiden along with Bafana Bafana legend Benni McCarthy, coached the 13-time Congolese champions in 2009 and again in 2011. His highlights at the club include qualifying them for the CAF Champions League in the latter stint.

He admitted, though, that he has not studied the current squads closely.

"I really do not know much about the team at Sundowns but I am aware that they are in contention for the PSL league title.

"The same applies to AS Vita. I think there are only two players in the current team from the team that I coached, so things are different from what they were when I was there," he concluded.

Sundowns are keen to follow in the footsteps of Orlando Pirates in becoming the second South African side to clinch the coveted African club championship.

By Thapelo Moloantoa

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Get the latest KICK OFF magazine (issue 468, on shelves now) for an interview with O'Loughlin as he discusses his coaching journey from Orlando Pirates to Belgium's topflight. You can get your digital copy right now by CLICKING HERE


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