Mamelodi Sundowns are set to lock horns with Egyptian giants Zamalek in the CAF Champions League final. The Brazilians suffered a 4-1 aggregate defeat at the hands of another Egyptian giant in Al Ahly in 2001. The first leg was played here, at the then Minolta Loftus in Tshwane, and it ended in a 1-1 draw – it was in Egypt where they lost 3-0.
The only thing the Egyptians do differently to us is their supporters pack the stadium to the rafters when their teams play these types of games, whereas here at home you'll find that the stadium is not even half full. Even Ajax Cape Town coach Roger De Sa said in a press conference recently that "you can feel the ground shaking in Egypt, the atmosphere that their fans create is intimidating".
Unfortunately, here in South Africa, that might not be possible for a number of reasons, one being the fact that, while Sundowns will be playing at 3.00pm at the Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium, Pirates will be travelling to Polokwane to take on Polokwane City and Chiefs will be in Durban for their game against Ajax Cape Town. What that means is that there will be less Chiefs and Pirates supporters who will be supporting Sundowns as they will be travelling to their beloved teams' match destinations.
One could feel the PSL should have done something to try to avoid that, but, then again, the fixture congestion won't be of help to the teams either.
I hope Sundowns pull through and win this one for all our sake. Remember, them winning the competition will mean that we'll have one more representative in this competition next year.
Good luck Masandawana, bring that star home!
Ukuthula kwande bakithi