Ntokozo Gumede
Football Writer
2 minute read
30 Dec 2021
2:09 pm

AmaZulu confident despite ‘tough’ Champions League draw

Ntokozo Gumede

'We are going there to compete, we are not going there to add numbers,' said AmaZulu captain Makheleni Makhaula.

Makhehleni Makhaula expects a tricky Champions League challenge. Picture: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix.

Across all of the groups in the Caf Champions League, Group B, that has debutants AmaZulu paired with Raja Casablanca of Morocco, ES Setif of Algeria and Guinea outfit Horoya AC, seems to be one of the most difficult to predict.

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Raja, for instance, are the incumbent Confederation Cup champions and recently collected a silver medal in the Super Cup. Theywill be looking to add to their three Champions League crowns at the expense of the likes of Usuthu, while Setif are gunning for more glory, as they tasted success in 2014, where they claimed their second title.

Horoya, meanwhile, are on a mission to reestablish themselves as regulars in the group phase, as they make a return following a two-season absence. For the KwaZulu-Natal outfit, this is a brand new stage, but fortunately, they are led by a coach, Benni McCarthy, who knows the ins and outs of inter-club competitions, even though his experience comes from his days as player in Europe- McCarthy won the Uefa Champions League with FC Porto in 2004.

“It’s a really tough group, but I think our technical team will prepare us well and we will go in there strong. We are going there to compete, we are not going there to add numbers.” said AmaZulu captain Makheleni Makhaula.

“We are playing two teams that are from North Africa and it is going to be a good experience for us and it is going to be great for the people of KwaZulu-Natal.”

Vice-captain and goalkeeper Veli Mothwa, meanwhile is unsure how he feels about the draw, but vows that his side will fight tooth and nail.

“I won’t say it is a good or bad draw because it is the first time the team plays in the Champions League and most of the players will (also) be playing in the competition for the first time. We can expect nice games and tough ones, especially when we are playing away. I am feeling good about this competition and I am looking forward to working hard and seeing where we’ll end up. We are certainly going to give it our all and perform well,” said Mothwa.