Mamelodi Sundowns once again have South Africa’s continental hopes rested solely on their shoulders, with the Brazilians left as the only Absa Premiership side left in CAF’s tournaments.
Masandawana recently found out the exact dates and times of their CAF Champions League group stage fixtures, where they will travel to Morocco, Guinea and Togo, but – like in 2016 – they will be the last team representing Mzansi.
Last year Sundowns were joined by SuperSport United and Platinum Stars in the CAF group stages, albeit in the CAF Confederation Cup, with Matsatsantsa going all the way to the final as Dikwena dropped out before the knockouts.
Now, with SuperSport and Bidvest Wits both falling at the hands of Gor Mahia and Enyimba respectively, leaving Sundowns to fend for themselves on the continent once again. Kaitano Tembo's side drew 2-2 and went out on away goals, while the Clever Boys lost 1-0 on aggregate.
Sundowns’ fixtures are as follows:
May 5th: v Wydad (H - 9pm)
May 15th: v Horoya (A - 6pm)
July 17th v AS Togo (A - 6pm)
July 27th: v AS Togo (H - 9pm)
August 17th v Wydad (A - 9pm)
August 28th: v Horoya (H - 6pm)
Now, with SSU and Wits out, the reigning MTN8 and Absa Premiership champions will have to focus on making sure they avoid the relegation playoffs in what would be a crazy turnaround in fortunes for the clubs.
Sundowns, meanwhile, are set to lift the league title once again.