Can Gamondi ride the wave?

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

Platinum Stars coach Miguel Gamondi's day of reckoning has finally arrived.

His team takes on Egypt's Al Ahly at the Cairo International Stadium on Sunday, in the return leg of their African Champions League qualifier.

But spirits have been dampened a little after Stars lost in the Absa Premiership midweek contest against Free State Stars 1-3.

During their historical 2-1 win over the Egyptians in Atteridgeville a fortnight ago, the Tycoons were praised for being innovative, fearless and persistent. And this will be how Gamondi expects them to play in the face of the infamous Cairo fans, known as the "Red Wave".

This "wave" has intimidated South African teams who have dared challenge Ahly on their own turf. Stars will have their hands full trying to contain the likes of Flavio and Mohamed Aboutrika.

Free State Stars strikers Diyo Sibisi and Collins Chabalala were given too much space on Tuesday and goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands was left stranded in the process. But Gamondi is not fazed.

"We needed to win this match badly, but we have since talked about the mistakes we made. This was on the eve of the biggest game of the players' lives, so they could have been trying to avoid injuries, not concentrating on the job at hand," he said.