SuperSport United keen to return to continental football
SuperSport United are nostalgic about continental football, aiming to clinch the Nedbank Cup to guarantee a return to the CAF Confederation Cup.
This ambition was laid bare by the club's coach Kaitano Tembo at the PSL offices in Parktown yesterday, engaging the media about their Nedbank Cup last 32 clash versus Tshwane rivals Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld tonight (8.15pm).
The last time SuperSport participated in the CAF Confed Cup was in 2017 and went on to reach the final, where they lost 2-1 on aggregate to Congolese giants TP Mazembe.
"We always have ambitions to go back and compete. play on the continental stage. This game [against Downs] gives us that opportunity to boost our chances of playing in the Confed Cup next season," Tembo said.
The Matsatsantsa coach underlined the importance of winning the cup by narrating how playing on the continent accelerated the progress of their budding stars Sipho Mbule and Teboho Mokoena, who are now the cog of the team.
"We participated in the Confed cup before through winning this tournament and that helped a lot of our players. Mokoena made his debut in Sudan against Al-Ahly Shendi and since then he's never looked back," Tembo stated.
"The same applies to Sipho Mbule; he played against Mazembe and scored in Kinshasa.
"That [Confed Cup] has helped in terms of developing our young players, mentally and physically because there are a lot of challenges when you are playing continental football."
SuperSport and Sundowns have already faced off four times this season, with the Brazilians winning two of those fixtures while, Tembo's men have managed one victory as the other match ended all-square. Downs triumphed in both league ties. Matsatsantsa's win came in the MTN8 semifinal first league, where the first leg had ended in a draw.
"It's the fifth time now facing Sundowns and it never easy," noted Tembo, who also confirmed his side will be without injured stars in Thabo Mnyamane, Aubrey Modiba, Jamie Webber and Evans Rusike.