Stars defiant

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

Pitting Platinum Stars against Al Ahly is a bit like the proverbial David versus Goliath affair, but not to Stars' coach Miguel Gamondi.

Gamondi's team come up against the Egyptian giants at Atteridgeville's Super Stadium tomorrow at 3.45pm, in the first leg of the African Champions League match.

The Tycoons' mentor talked up his team's chances, saying that his team will leave many people surprised by the time the match ends tomorrow.

"Al Ahly are the best team in the continent, no doubt about it. But we are not scared, although we are respectful. I know North African football very well, but we will play to win," the Argentinian said.

Almost everyone knows about Ahly - and most are afraid for Stars who have a mountain of odds stacked against them. South Africa will all find out tomorrow how our home grown talent such as Koketso Mmotong, Hareaipha Marumo and Dingane Masanabo match the likes of Shady Mohamed, Mohammed Aboutrika and Flavio Amado. Two of the visiting team's players, midfielder Ahmad Fathi and defender Emad El-Nahhas have not made the trip because of injury. Aboutrika was also out injured for two weeks, but is fighting fit.

Khaled El Darandaly, the Egyptian head of delegation, said they were not interested in undermining their opponents.

"When we play with so-called strong teams or weak teams, we play with the same spirit and the same tactics - we don't differentiate. We came to South Africa to win," El Darandaly said.

l Mamelodi Sundowns will be facing last year's semi finalists Al Hilal away tomorrow (7pm local time).

Coach Trott Moloto agreed with injured goalkeeper Calvin Marlin who told the Downs' website that Sundowns have a tough hurdle to overcome. According to Marlin, Al Hilal, who are Sudan's most successful team, have tall players, most of whom are in the national team.

"We have to get our mental state right, but I hope our recent winning run of late would have inspired the players. We do have a different plan altogether for a match like this one," Moloto, who will be looking to get that precious away goal, said.