Mamelodi Sundowns are off to paradise this week but it will not be all fun and games in the Seychelles sun as they attempt to make sure of progress through to the group phase of the African Champions League.
It will arguably be the easiest assignment Sundowns are likely to have at this stage of any future continental club competition assignment when they take on Cote d’Or of Seychelles in the first leg of a second-round tie at Stade Linite in Victoria on Saturday‚ playing on an artificial surface against a team of part-timers.
But the Bafana Bafana players in the Sundowns team will do well to remember that the last time they were in the Seychelles they were part of a national side that flopped against the tiny Indian Ocean island nation‚ being held to a goalless draw in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Cote d’Or are playing in African club competition for only a fourth time and won a tie for the first time when they edged Fomboni of Madagascar on the away-goals rule after a 2-2 draw away and then 1-1 at home in the first round.
Sundowns depart for the Seychelles on Wednesday and return on Sunday.
They play their MTN8 semifinal second-leg tie against SuperSport United at Atteridgeville next Wednesday.
The other SA side on continental duty this week‚ Bidvest Wits‚ had a bye in the first round and make their bow in the African Confederation Cup in Eswatini on Saturday when they meet Young Buffaloes at the Mavuso sports grounds. Wits leave for the venue by bus on Friday.
TS Galaxy‚ who beat Seychelles opposition both at home and away in the first round‚ are hosting CNaPS Sport of Madagascar at Mbombela Stadium on Sunday in their second round‚ first-leg tie.
The club are relishing the opportunity to play.
“It is not often that a NFD [National First Division] club can compete in a competition with a level higher than the PSL. It is something we are really embracing‚” said owner Tim Sukazi.