CAF Champions: Mamelodi Progress Gives PSL Fixture Headaches

While Mamelodi Sundowns progress to the quarter finals was welcome by multitude of fans, the PSL has been left with another puzzle to fix regarding the Brazilians’ fulfilling their domestic fixtures.

After dismissing Saint George in Ethiopia – Sundowns are guaranteed of finishing either first or second in Group C – meaning a slot in the last eight of the lucrative competition, bringing them a financial windfall of more than $500 000.

Saint George can still have a mathematical chance to progress beyond the group stages. In case of a point stalemate, the greatest number of points obtained in the matches between the concerned will determine the winner.
Sundowns Progress Gives PSL Headaches 

Sundowns have an advantage after drawing at home and won away against the Ethiopians. The Brazilians advancement means they are unavailable on 8-10 September and 15-17 September to fulfill their domestic fixtures.

Pitso Mosimane and his men will play any of Wydad Casablanca, ZANACO or Al Ahly in the last eight depending on the order of standings at the completion of the group matches this weekend.

This is a repetition of last year when the PSL was forced into postponing several domestic fixtures involving Sundowns which meant The Brazilians spent most of the season playing catch-up as they were crowned African champions, going on to also play at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan.

If their make it beyond the quarter-finals on the continent this year Sundowns will chew up September 29-October 1 and October 13-15 – the dates set aside for the semi-finals of the Champions League.

The fixture will mean their absence on October 19-27 along with November 3-5 – this provided Sundowns reach the final which will further complicate The Brazilians’ domestic fixture programme.

Last season Sundowns had only played three league games at the beginning of November and had as many as six games in hand at one time during the campaign.

Masandawana once again put in a voracious showing away from home against Ethiopia’s Kedus Giorgis to register their second away win of the group stages. The victory has offered refreshed oomph for Sundowns.

In previous years, the Brazilians would have been satisfied with a point at best away from Tshwane, things have certainly changed for the better. The Brazilians are now showing exactly why they are the defending champions.

And despite the difficult conditions and hostile atmosphere away from home, they have been getting the required results. A notable feature of Sundowns’ 2017 campaign has been their tactical discipline. The Tshwane giants are boxing smart - they know when to attack and when to defend.

In the past, North African sides were always lauded for their ability to kill off games, and perhaps Sundowns can now also be mentioned in the same breath. – Online Sources

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