Benni McCarthy’s pedigree as a coach comes under scrutiny against a continental giant
AmaZulu face what is their biggest test ever in their maiden Caf Champions League campaign when they host TP Mazembe in the first leg of the second round at Moses Mabhida Stadium.
It is a contest between Usuthu who are only playing their third-ever match in this tournament and heavyweights Mazembe who have won this competition five times.
At stake in this contest is making huge strides towards the group stage ahead of the return leg in Lubumbashi.
After Kaizer Chiefs made it to the Champions League group phase for the first time ever last season, AmaZulu might be inspired to emulate their Premier Soccer League rivals.
Benni McCarthy and his men will be keen to record a favourable result that will not complicate their trip to Lubumbashi.
But TP Mazembe, with their experience in Africa, would want to host Usuthu enjoying some advantage.
|Game||AmaZulu vs TP Mazembe|
|Date||Friday, October 15|
|Time||17:00 SA Time|
TV Channel, Live Score & How To Watch
The match is not being broadcast live in South Africa
Squads & Team News
AmaZulu welcome back goalkeeper Veli Mothwa who was an unused substitute in Bafana Bafana’s back-to-back 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers against Ethiopia.
Another Usuthu goal-minder Jean-Noel Amonome was on the bench in Gabon’s trip to Angola but featured for the entire second leg at home.
But defender Limbikani Mzava is doubtful after he limped off their home match against Ivory Coast at Orlando Stadium and did not make the trip for the second leg.
TP Mazembe arrived in Durban on Tuesday night with 20 players who include Kabaso Chongo, Rainford Kalaba, Joseph Ochaya and Christian Kouame.
Two players, Mali goalkeeper Ibrahim Mounkoro and centre-back Tandi Mwaper were already waiting for their teammates after arriving in South Africa on Monday.
With this being AmaZulu’s maiden participation in the Champions League, it is also the first time for them to face the Congolese giants.
The South Africans go into this match on the backdrop of having performing heroics in the first round where they lost 1-0 at home to Malawian champions Nyasa Big Bullets, before emphatically 3-1 winning away to secure passage into this stage of the competition.
On the other hand, TP Mazembe will be playing in the Champions League for the first time this season after receiving a bye in the preliminary round.
But the former African champions arrived in KwaZulu-Natal on a high having won five straight league matches at home, a run which stretches to last season.
Usuthu have been blowing hot and cold at home with their last match being a 1-1 league draw against Kaizer Chiefs at home.