The Brazilians looking to top tough CAF ampions League

Sundowns faithful will look to skipper Hlompho Kekana to break the hearts of Asec. / Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Sundowns faithful will look to skipper Hlompho Kekana to break the hearts of Asec. / Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Following a turbulent past few days, Mamelodi Sundowns will be eager to dust themselves off by going top of their group in the CAF Champions League.

The former African kings take on Ivorian heavyweights Asec Mimosas at Loftus Versfeld tonight (9pm).

Sundowns are perhaps the victims of their own success with the shock of their back-to-back losses to Chippa United in the Nedbank Cup (2-1) and AmaZulu (2-0) having ripped through the team and fans like an electric current.

As they look to ride out the mini-storm, the Brazilians will look to the usual suspects, including captain Hlompho Kekana, Denis Onyango and Themba Zwane for inspiration.

The technical team gave the players some time off to refresh this week with a lighter training programme following their loss to Usuthu.

Coach Pitso Mosimane conceded that only a win can now get them through the rocky phase.

"It's fatigue, but we are not complaining, we expected this and been through this route. One win will give us a mental edge," Mosimane said.

"What's important is to get the legs fresh and the mind proper. If we do not regenerate the team then you are not going the right way.

"This team is not the free-flowing Sundowns team that I want because of player movements and bringing other players who have struggled."

The standings in Group A of the competition are even with all teams on three points after two games. Sundowns will be up against a bulldozing Asec defence that includes imposing figures at the back such as Kalpi Ouattara, Oumar Sako and Patrick Malo.

"You have to break the reinforced defence and guard against counter-attacks. We really have to work around the clock," Mosimane said.

"Now we have to watch those set-pieces. You know the Ivorians, they are big boys."

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