Nouadhibou face a mauling by Downs

Mauritanian side could be in for tough tie against AFL champions

Neville Khoza Journalist
Amir Abdou, coach of Nouadhibou, the Mauritanian side who will face Sundowns.
Amir Abdou, coach of Nouadhibou, the Mauritanian side who will face Sundowns.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Fresh from winning the African Football League (AFL), Mamelodi Sundowns have quickly shifted their focus to another continental competition with the CAF Champions League group phase starting this weekend.

The Brazilians will start their group phase matches against unknown Mauritanian side Nouadhibou at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Sunday (3pm).

After being eliminated in the semifinal of the same tournament last season by Wydad Casablanca, the Brazilians are planning to go all the way in this competition and win it.

They will want to make another statement in the group stages and issue another warning to their rivals that they want to win this title, which has eluded them since 2016.

Masandawana are in Group A alongside Pyramids of Egypt, TP Mazembe from DR Congo and Nouadhibou of Mauritania.

But they start the group matches against a side that many know little about. Nouadhibou are in the group stages for the first time in its history after failing to progress from preliminary rounds in the 2003 and 2014 tournaments.

They also became the first club from Mauritania to participate in the group stages. Their coach, Amir Abou, also works as the Mauritania national head coach and they played to a goalless draw with South Sudan in the Fifa World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday.

In the first preliminary round, Nouadhibou beat Al Ahly Tripoli 2-1 on aggregate to advance to the next round, where they also beat Mali giants Real Bamako 4-1 on aggregate to progress to this stage of the competition.

They come into this fixture on Sunday in good form. They are unbeaten in nine matches across all competitions.

Nouadhibou also leads the Mauritania league table after seven rounds of matches, with five wins and two draws and will be confident of causing an upset against the newly crowned AFL champions.

But they face a Sundowns side who have been brilliant in both the AFL and the DStv Premiership and will want to continue with that impressive performance in the Champions League.

In the Confederation Cup, SuperSport United will travel to Egypt to face Modern Future also on Sunday (3pm), while Sekhukhune United will travel to Morocco to meet RS Berkane at 9pm.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.