Mamelodi Sundowns arrived in Conakry on Friday afternoon‚ well in time to acclimatise over the weekend before they take on home side Horoya in their African Champions League tie on Tuesday.
Conditions in the west African country are hot and sticky and the early arrival ensures that Pitso Mosimane’s men will get a reasonable chance to get used to conditions before what will be a key match.
But it will be no easy assignment‚ for not only have Horoya proven to be a team of some repute but Conakry is an aggressive place where little or no hospitality is afforded to their footballing visitors.
Last year SuperSport United forced a goalless draw at Horoya in a tough and bruising encounter‚ that allowed them to progress through the group phase.
Sundowns can ill afford to lose this game as they have already dropped points at home to Wydad Casablanca of Morocco in their opening game in Group C earlier this month. It was a 1-1 draw with the holders at Atteridgeville.
At the same time‚ Horoya were away winners in their first game at AS-Port Togo in Lome.
Since then‚ Wydad have also beaten the Togolese side‚ leaving Sundowns ominously outside of the top two‚ making Tuesday’s result important for Sundowns not to find themselves in a catch-up situation in July when the Champions League group phase resumes after the first two rounds.
Sundowns also have to put behind them the excitement of playing against Barcelona at Soccer City in midweek.