Marumo Gallants Sync With Mamelodi Sundowns In CAF Confederation Cup’s Elite Eight
In a remarkable turn of events, Marumo Gallants have advanced to the quarter-finals of the CAF inter-club competition, joining Mamelodi Sundowns, despite their 4-1 loss to Al Akhdar on Sunday night.
The Group A debutants in the CAF Confederation Cup managed to secure their spot in the last eight, with Mpho Mvelase netting a consolation goal for the South African side. They now prepare to face Saint Eloi Lupopo in the next round.
Bahlabane Ba Ntwa were dealt a heavy blow in their match against the Libyan club at Benina Martyrs Stadium in Benghazi. Al Akhdar secured an impressive win with goals from Anas Abd Alraheem (two goals), Mohamed Makari, and Ary Papel.
Marumo Gallants’ attack was led by Katlego Otladisa, but their top scorer this season, Ranga Chivaviro, was notably missing from the matchday squad. Otladisa, a former Sundowns winger, has yet to score in a CAF inter-club tournament, and the Al Akhdar defense effectively neutralized him. The absence of Chivaviro was keenly felt, and it remains unclear why he was not available for selection. Coach Dylan Kerr will be eager to have the Limpopo-born player back for their upcoming matches.
Despite the defeat to Al Akhdar, Gallants’ journey in the Confederation Cup will continue into the knockout stage. As the 2021 Nedbank Cup champions, they will join fellow PSL competitors, Sundowns, in the quarter-finals of this prestigious African competition. Sundowns have already secured their place in the CAF Champions League last eight.
With only one match remaining in the group stage, Bahlabane Ba Ntwa is currently topping the Confederation Cup Group A standings, one point ahead of second-placed USM Alger of Algeria.
Looking ahead, Marumo Gallants are set to host Saint Eloi Lupopo at Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto on April 2nd. They will be aiming to complete a double victory over Lupopo, having previously defeated the DR Congolese side 2-1 in their earlier Group A encounter in Zambia last month.