SuperSport United must win their last African Confederation Cup group match in Atteridgeville on Saturday and hope the other match in the group in Lubumbashi at the same time does not end in a draw if they are to advance to the quarter-finals, writes Mark Gleeson.
SuperSport should beat Gabon’s CF Mounana, who have lost all their games and been the group’s whipping boys.
Victory would take SuperSport to 10 points from their six Group C matches.
Horoya of Guinea and TP Mazembe share top place with nine points already and clash in the other group game in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The winner of that match will top the group, with SuperSport runners-up‚ if they are also victorious. But if Mazembe and Horoya draw, then things become complicated as all three clubs will end on 10 points.
Then it comes down to head-to-head records between the three‚ creating a mini log of their results and eliminating from the equation the results against bottom-placed Mounana.
That is why SuperSport need not worry on Saturday about goals against the Gabon side. A 1-0 triumph will be as effective as a six-goal thrashing.
Ultimately, it could come down to the number of goals scored away by the three. So if Mazembe and Horoya play out a goalless draw, or a 1-1 scoreline, then SuperSport are sure to advance. But if they conspire to produce a high-scoring draw‚ then the Pretoria-based outfit could be out.
It is not likely‚ however‚ there will be any skullduggery in Lubumbashi. Mazembe and Horoya will be keen to win because victory ensures top place in the group and home advantage in the second leg of the quarterfinal ties.
SuperSport United cannot top the group, so as potential runners-up, they will take on the top team in Group C — either Zesco United of Zambia or Al Hilal Obayed of Sudan‚ neither of which have much of a continental profile. Progress for SuperSport on Saturday could give them legitimate hopes of taking the title.