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Players cleared for Confederations Cup but giants not celebrating yet

By unknown | Jul 20, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Sipho Mthembu

Sipho Mthembu

Mamelodi Sundowns received a timely boost yesterday when the Confederation of African Football confirmed the registration of defender Mbulelo "OJ" Mabizela and midfielder Brent Carelse for the Confederations Cup.

The Brazilians are also optimistic of getting the go-ahead to field their new signing, former Orlando Pirates star Gift Leremi, ahead of their opening mini-league fixture against TP Mazembe at Loftus on Saturday evening (7.30).

Sundowns coach Gordon Igesund welcomed the news but would not get carried away, thinking all his problems have been solved.

"To be honest, this game did not come at a right time for us. We are two weeks into our off-season and we are not 100 percent fit yet," Igesund lamented. "TP Mazembe are in the middle of their season and very they are fit."

Downs have a few players with niggling injuries.

"Godfrey Sapula is doubtful while Vuyo Mere, David Kannemeyer and Michael Manzini are out. We are expecting Jose Torrealba sometime tomorrow [today] but we cannot confirm that," said the multiple championship winning coach.

But Igesund admitted that tomorrow's match is a must-win fixture if they are to make any impact in the tournament.

"We have to collect the three points at home and I am not worried about the second leg because we will be well conditioned by then," he said.

And the approach?

"We are going to be offensive but are going to do it in a disciplined manner. We will attack but in an organised way that will not leave holes where we could be exposed.

"The plan is simple enough and if the players stick to the strategy then Sundowns supporters can look forward to offensive play against Mazembe which guarantees an avalanche of goals."

Igesund expects a quick, physical game from the visitors: "I could not get hold of their tapes but my contacts in Kinshasa have given me useful information on what to expect."

Mazembe arrived in the country on Wednesday afternoon and held their first training session at the Caledonian Stadium yesterday morning.


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