Sekhukhune United will make their CAF Inter-club debut on Saturday when they host FC St. Eloi Lupopo from the DR Congo. The two sides will battle it out in the CAF Confederation Cup, second preliminary round first leg at Peter Mokaba Stadium.
Sekhukhune qualified for the competition after finishing as runners-up of the 2023 Nedbank Cup, in which they lost out to Orlando Pirates in the final. South African teams are no strangers to Lupopo, who were in the same group with Marumo Gallants last season.
But it is a historic occasion for Sekhukhune, who progressed to the second round through a walkover. This is after their opponents Young Baffaloes from Eswatini withdrew from the tournament, citing financial constraints.
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Head coach Brandon Truter says there has been a buzz amongst the players ahead of the clash in Polokwane.
“This game is an interesting one in terms of it being the club’s debut in the CAF Competition,” he told the club’s media department.
“There’s a bit of excitement and buzz around the team. Because now we can also test our strength outside the borders. New opposition brings new tactics and new challenges. So far, it is about being at home, we want to be on the front foot, get the results, and take it to Congo.
“It also gives us an opportunity to give one or two players a chance, especially against unknown opposition. With it being at home, we have not won our previous two home matches, so we would like to get a positive result here. To build the confidence going into our next game,” he said.
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“But we are also nursing fatigue and a few niggles from our internationals who came back from the national teams. So yeah, it’s an interesting game to look forward to, but it’s definitely one we want to win.”
Lupopo are currently top of their domestic League after three rounds of matches. They have won three out of three and tied with TP Mazembe.
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