underdogs must bite

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

The day of reckoning has arrived for Platinum Stars and Mamelodi Sundowns, who, if things go their way, could advance to the mini-league stage of the Confederation Cup.

Stars have a daunting task in Sfax against CS Sfaxien, and Sundowns take on Hars- el Hodoud of Egypt away tomorrow.

For Stars, the situation looks bleak, after they gifted the Tunisians the luxury of two away goals. But if Miguel Gamondi, the Argentinian coach at the helm of Stars knows something about local soccer history, he would have reminded his players of how Orlando Pirates faced much the same odds as they do in the more prestigious CAF Champions League in 1995 - and emerged victorious.

Should Gamondi relate this anecdote, he might light a fire in the bellies of the likes of captain Stanley Kgatla, Hareaipha Marumo and Edward Williams.

Among the Sfaxien players who could trouble Stars are Ghanaian Opoku Agyemang and Guinea's Naby Soumah.

Sundowns are in a better position than their compatriots, as they take a 1-0 advantage to Hodoud. Lungisani Ndlela was the scorer of that goal and his combination with the experienced Surprise Moriri could still bear fruit.

With Esrom Nyandoro and Jorge Acuna dictating terms in the middle, Downs should be able to handle what Hars dish out, but it will not be easy for the Brazilians.

The Egyptians will have a full-strength team, with the return from injury of Abd El Salam Nagah and Hany Saed.