Johannesburg - Two points out of a possible six is not a good return on investment for Mamelodi Sundowns.
The Brazilians’ aspirations to qualify for the knockout stages of the CAF Champions League took a huge knock this week when they played to a 2-all draw away against Guinea’s Horoya AC, their second of the competition.
Although a draw away from home is a good result, a team of Sundowns’ calibre is always expected to easily qualify for the final rounds of the tournament.
However, Pitso Mosimane’s side has had two draws so far. They are third on the standings, which means Sundowns will have to win their remaining four games to stay in the competition.
Fortunately, they are going on well-deserved time out, which will come in handy after four seasons without a proper break. Unfortunately, they will have to cut the break short to continue with the group stages immediately after the World Cup in Russia.
With their next game scheduled for July 17, it will be interesting to see their state of readiness. They will be playing against the whipping boys of the group, AS Togo-Port, who have lost their opening two games and remain rooted at the bottom of the group. The two teams will play back-to-back matches, which could give Sundowns an edge going into the final two matches against Horoya and Wydad Casablanca.
But Sundowns will have to be at their best to realise their dreams of going to the quarter-finals. They have not been convincing so far, particularly in defence. The partnership of Wayne Arendse and Bangaly Soumahoro has left much to be desired, and was easily exposed by Horoya on Tuesday. The absence of Ricardo Nascimento cost them dearly, but he will hopefully be back to bolster the defence in July.
Mosimane will also have to do without the services of inspirational Khama Billiat, unless he agrees to a new contract.
The Zimbabwean has so far made it clear that he will not extend his contract, and he could have played his final game for the Brazilians against Horoya, when he scored and also won a penalty for his side.