22 Jul Of Sundowns and Their Maiden Champions League Title
Surely whoever will be drawn into reading this article after reading the title will go into it already accusing me of at least one of the following: that I’ve chosen a convenient time to make this prediction, seeing that this year’s Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) Champions League is now at the advanced stages, and/or that I’m an overly-ambitious Mamelodi Sundowns fan who thinks too highly of the local league champions.
But I’ll carry on to say what I wish to say anyway. It gives me great pleasure to have been inspired to write this piece, as it is a result of a great display of football by the record-breaking Pretoria-based, Mamelodi Sundowns.
So great have the ‘Brazilians’ been in the last ten months or so, that they have won a domestic double (the league cup and a record seventh league title), and even cheated death in this year’s continental championship, during that period.
The latter happened when they were eliminated from the tournament after going down to AS Vita Club of the Democratic Republic of Congo over two legs in April, but later returned after the governing body of football on the continent found that Vita had fielded an “ineligible player” in the tie.
Sundowns have also won a great majority of their matches in style — tearing opposition teams apart with their fierce attacking style —spearheaded by the famous ‘CBD’, which comprises of the attacking trio of Leonardo Castro, Khama Billiat and Keagan Dolly.
The three played a key role in Sundowns’ rampant run in the PSL, where they helped the team also known as ‘Bafana Ba Style’ to win the league with an unprecedented 71 points — a jaw-dropping 14 points ahead of second-placed Bidvest Wits!
Upon their resurrection into the Champions League, ‘Downs were drawn with continental powerhouses Enyimba of Nigeria and Zamalek of Egypt, along with the now defunct ES Setif of Algeria in Group B— and not many had given them a chance.
But, at the time of writing, they are sitting pretty at the summit of that group, three points clear of their nearest rivals after two rounds of fixtures (actually three, but the result of the third match wasn’t recorded owing to Setif being disqualified after their fans delayed a match against the very Sundowns, which would later mean that Sundowns’ win in that match didn’t count).
I’m sure by now you can see that the writing is on the wall, and that’s it’s not advisable to bet against Pitso Mosimane’s men adding this year’s Champions League to their already occupied trophy cabinet.
If not, then I suggest you watch their next Champions League match against Zamalek on Wednesday, 27 July, so you can see for yourself why I boldly predict that they are going to be the 2016 champions.