Sundowns Wary of Leopards Threat
South Africa giants Mamelodi Sundowns go into Saturday's 1/16th round first leg clash against AC Leopards of Congo on an amazing run of form following a 19-match unbeaten streak in the Premier Soccer League.
The 'Brazilians', as the Pretoria based club is affectionately known are set to take on the Leopards in the first of two battles towards a place at the 1/8th round of the premier continental club championship.
The club boasts of arguably the lethal squad in the South African topflight, where they are the runaway league leaders, with a 10-point gap with nine matches to go.
Under the tutelage of the former national team coach, Pitso Mosimane, Sundowns have swept away every side that comes their way on the domestic front.
In fact the last time the Brazilians tasted defeat before their lone goal loss to Zimbabwe champions, Chicken Inn was far back August 2015.
However, they are fully aware of the danger posed by the 2012 Orange CAF Confederation Cup champions, Leopards and will be going into the tie with a very cautious approach.
Mosimane's men will be going up against a side that has been a regular face in the continental club championship the past few years, and boasts quality players such as national star, Kader Bidimbou, who can cause problems for any defence on a good day.
While the club is having a dream season with the league cup already in their trophy cabinet as well as a league title well within reach, the players know that continental glory will put a permanent smile on the faces of their hard to please supporters. The club has over the past seasons come under fire for their over-the-top spending on big names who have failed to deliver silverware to the club.
Ahead of the meeting with Leopards, Zimbabwe-import, Khama Billiat, a contender for PSL player of the season, has cautioned his teammates to go into the fixture with a level head, as CAF club competitions are much tougher than the domestic league.
"We need to be careful not to let our current form be our downfall. What makes the CAF Champions League more interesting is that we come up against sides that we have never played against and in such cases; we need to be very smart in how we approach them.
"AC Leopards are a formidable side, highly respected in their country as well as throughout the continent. It would therefore be suicidal for us to go into the match with the confidence of our current form in the domestic league. We need to be well prepared" said Billiat.
This will be the first ever meeting between the two sides at any level and promises to produce fireworks as both clubs are yet to lift the most sought after trophy in Africa.
The farthest the Brazilians came to glory was in 2001, losing to Egyptian giants, Al Ahly 4-1 on aggregate in the final.