Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba will be going to Egypt to support Mamelodi Sundowns in the CAF Champions League final second leg this weekend.
The Brazilians currently enjoy a 3-0 first-leg advantage and are strong favourites to win Africa’s most prestigious club competition for the first time on Sunday (kickoff 8.30pm).
Mashaba was invited to the Downs dressing room after the 3-0 thrashing of the Egyptian giants last Saturday and was asked to address the team.
He says: “It was a great gesture and having spoken to coach Pitso [Mosimane] in the presence of club president Patrice Motsepe, we agreed that I should accompany the team to Alexandria and give the boys moral support.
“This is good for the country, good for the national team and the entire football family will enjoy the general spin-offs from such good showing.”
Mashaba will fly out today to meet up with Pitso’s manne, who touched down yesterday afternoon to start their preparations.
Meanwhile, Brazilians skipper Hlompo Kekana is ready to do battle again after an uncharacteristically less physical first leg.
The combative midfielder was a yellow card away from missing the second leg, so he played more cautiously.
But he says: “It was hard because I played out of my character [last Saturday].
“I am always there, in the kitchen where it’s hot. But because of that yellow card I had to reserve myself and be a good boy, which was tough.
“I am happy that I managed to pass that test [and stay out of the referee’s book].
“I am now going into the second leg of the final where I will be myself.”
Capetonian Wayne Arendse wasn’t as fortunate, though, picking up a caution that will see him watch the match from the stands.
He, along with several Sundowns players who aren’t registered for the Champions League, travelled with the club to be a part of what could be the most memorable night in the club’s history – being crowned African champions for the first time.