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Sundowns enter the lion’s den

Alimi Sikiru of Lobi Stars challenged by Thapelo Morena of Mamelodi Sundowns during the 2019 TOTAL CAF Champions League match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Lobi Stars at the Lucas Moripe Stadium, Atteridgeville on the 09 March 2019 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

CASABLANCA – It’s been 32 games since Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca lost at home, and Mamelodi Sundowns will have to dig deep for a win.

The North Africans host the Tshwane side at Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium tomorrow (6pm SA time).

Sundowns need just a draw to finish top of Group A and face the runners-up from one of the other groups. The group winners also play the second leg of the quarterfinals, which is the next round, at home.

Wydad, however, have proved difficult to beat in their back yard.

The last time they lost at home was 2-1 to rivals Raja Casablanca in February last year. Sundowns faced Wydad in Morocco in 2017 and lost 1-0 in the quarterfinals of this competition.

The Brazilians started by winning 1-0 in the first leg in Pretoria and with the aggregate score at 1-1, the match was decided on penalties – with Wydad winning 3-2 to progress to the semifinals.

Wydad went on to win the tournament by beating Al Ahly of Egypt 2-1 on aggregate in the final.

But Sundowns are aware that winning in Morocco is not mission impossible. After all, they beat Wydad 2-1 in Pretoria in January.

If Sundowns win again, they will become the first SA side to win 50 matches in the CAF Champions League as reported by TimesLive, which is extra motivation for Pitso Mosimane’s men.

Over the past 25 years since they started competing in Africa’s premium club competition, Sundowns have played 94 matches (49 wins, 25 draws and 20 defeats). Downs also won the Champions League in 2016.

Orlando Pirates, the 1995 champions, boast the second most wins with 36 in 79 games. Bucs have drawn 24 games and suffered 19 defeats. Sowetan

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