Sundowns' continental experiences could give SuperSport priceless advantage on the continent

30 September 2017 - 14:47 By Mninawa Ntloko
SuperSport United new coach Eric Tinkler during the SuperSport United formal announcement at Multichoice City Ground Floor on June 08, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
SuperSport United new coach Eric Tinkler during the SuperSport United formal announcement at Multichoice City Ground Floor on June 08, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

SuperSport United are well aware that they will need to exploit their home ground advantage and score goals against Tunisia’s Club Africain at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday if they are to avoid the same fate that befell neighbours Mamelodi Sundowns a week ago.

United host the Tunisians in a Caf Confederation Cup semifinal first leg and coach Eric Tinkler said getting a positive result in Atteridgevile was absolutely crucial ahead of what should be a daunting away trip to North Africa in the second leg.

“The fact of the matter is we need to get a result at home‚” Tinkler said.

“Obviously we know that they are not great travellers and we need to take advantage of that fact.

“It is very‚ very important‚ like I said‚ we need to win this home game. Obviously we would love to keep it at 1-0‚ 2-0 but 3-0 would be brilliant.

“Ideally you do not want to concede a goal at home. But a win is the most important factor for me so that we have something to take there‚ which is going to be very‚ very important .

“Watching them at home (in Tunisia)‚ they play very‚ very differently from what they do away.

“I think there is a lot of motivation from the fan base that they have and the intensity of their game at home is very‚ very different from what you see from them away from home.

“So it is key to us that we get a positive result (on Sunday).”

Pretoria neighbours Sundowns could only manage a slender 1-0 win against Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca in a Caf Champions League first leg quarterfinal at the selfsame Lucas Moripe Stadium a few days ago.

The Brazilians’ failure to put the visitors to the sword when they had the chance came back to haunt them away from home in the second leg and the Moroccans eventually won the tie 3-2 on penalties‚ dumping the Champions League holders out of the competitions.

Tinkler gained a lot of experience on the continent during his time with Orlando Pirates and he has seemingly done his homework on the Tunisians.

“Obviously a massive game for us and (it is going) to be an extremely competitive and difficult match because the further you go in this competition the better quality the opposition is‚” Tinkler said.

“Club African is a big club from Tunisia.

"Yes they are not doing that great obviously in their league but I think a lot of their focus has obviously been put on the Caf Confederation Cup.

“And we are going to have to be very‚ very good on the day (on Sunday) because we need to get a positive result at home so that we can take something there.

“In my experience in the past‚ going to the North Africans countries to try and score is not an easy task.

“So it is very‚ very important that we obviously try and win the game here at home so that we have something to take there and then they will look to open up to try and attack us and then obviously we can try and get something out of that.

Kick off at Lucas Moripe Stadium is at 3pm.

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