duo united in purpose

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

While the South African duo of Mamelodi Sundowns and Platinum Stars are, to a large extent, very different, they have a lot in common this weekend.

The are both flying into the eye of the storm in respective African Champions League third round matches on Sunday.

Here at home, Sundowns welcome Sudan's Al Hilal at Super Stadium on Sunday at 3pm, and the burden of expectation on them cannot be overstated.

The Brazilians, backed by the influence and financial might of Patrice Motsepe, have come to be regarded as a pedigreed and all- conquering side - at least on the local front.

They have an array of talented players, plus men like Michael Manzini and Brian Baloyi have extensive experience on the continent.

They have played in this tournament over many years and have launched one of the most prolific and audacious comebacks in the league, the likes of which has not be seen on the domestic front in a long while.

It was all doom and gloom three months ago, and not many people could have anticipated a third spot on the log for them.

It therefore does not seem like too much to ask coach Trott Moloto and his charges to overturn the 4-2 deficit, score two goals, and avoid conceding.

On the other hand, we have The Tycoons, who have a mere seven years in top flight football, no superstars and don't match the financial muscle of Downs.

But the fact is they have trod where no other locals have before, and are taking a 2-1 win to Cairo where they face Al Ahly.

Their biggest strength has been their sheer unpredictability and low profile, though Al Ahly, cocky in the last match, would have learnt their lesson.

But Star's coach Miguel Gamondi is capable of inspiring miracles.