Mamelodi Sundowns have lined up several pre-season friendly fixtures as coach Pitso Mosimane’s side prepare for the upcoming 2019/20 season and wrap up their camp in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga.
The Brazilians have confirmed a practice match with National First Division outfit TS Galaxy, the winners of the Nedbank Cup in the previous campaign back in May.
It is one of the few clashes lined up with a local team before Sundowns travel to Botswana and the Democratic Republic of Congo to continue their preparation not just for the Premier Soccer League topflight, but the CAF Champions League at the same time by acclimatising to different conditions.
Masandawana are maximising on the rare chance of having a pre-season thanks to the calendar for the continental competition being adjusted.
The club will soon confirm details of two friendly matches that have been secured in Botswana this month, but can reveal that for the trip in Lubumbashi we will face CS Don Bosco and a familiar foe in TP Mazembe.
A bit of a background on Don Bosco reveals that they serve as a feeder team to Mazembe and are owned by Moise Katumbi’s son. Katumbi in turn owns Mazembe – and both clubs use the 18500 capacity crowd Stade TP Mazembe during the Linafoot (Congolese Premier Division) season.
Sundowns have now met Mazembe five times since their first encounter in the group stages of the 2007 CAF Confederation Cup over a two-legged affair. The Brazilians then took on the DRC giants eight years later in the first round of the Champions League, again in the home and away format. Mazembe beat Sundowns 3-2 on aggregate as they went on to win the tournament.
Then the most recent showdown was on 18 February 2017 at Loftus Versfeld Stadium for the CAF Super Cup, which is a fixture between the winners of the Champions League and Confederation Cup and Sundowns, with a 1-0 win, finally got one over them in what is turning out to be a fierce battle on the continent.
The upcoming friendly in Lubumbashi will strength a strong relationship with Mazembe and also benefit both sides as they prepare for the 2019/20 edition of the Champions League which kicks-off in August.