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Rollers, Sundowns clash as tough CAF ties loom

MQONDISI DUBE
Rollers play Sundowns at the National Stadium tomorrow
While eyes are on the World Cup action in Russia, Township Rollers and Mamelodi Sundowns have given local fans a fresh option as they clash at the National Stadium tomorrow in a friendly match.

The two sides are preparing for crucial CAF Champions League fixtures, with Rollers travelling to Egypt for a mammoth clash at Al Ahly, while Sundowns play AS Togo-Port in Lome.  Both matches are on July 17, 2018. 

Rollers spokesperson, Bafana Pheto said they are not worried that the World Cup quarterfinals might take the shine away from the high profile friendly.

“There is the World Cup schedule and we have our own. That should not affect our attendance,” Pheto said, of the friendly, which kicks off at 3:30pm.

He said the match was organised as part of their preparations for what is expected to be a tough duel against Al Ahly in Cairo.

Rollers’ last trip to North Africa ended in agony as they crumbled 4-1 to Esperance of Tunisia despite a battling first half in which they went to the break level at 1-1.

With Rollers coach, Nikola Kavazovic reportedly committing his future to the Gaborone side after enquiries from the South African sides, the full focus turns to the CAF Champions

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League assignments.

The side is making its debut in the group stages of the continent’s richest club competition, which rewards the winners with a handsome $2.5 million (approximately P25 million), while all group stage participants are guaranteed a more than consoling $550,000 (P5.5 million).

Pheto said the coach will have to adapt accordingly after the team released the South African pair of Mthokozisi Msomi and Tshepo ‘Skhwama’ Matete.

The two cannot be replaced in the CAF competition, with registration closing before the group stages began.

Regarding a training ground bust-up between key player, Lemponye ‘FC’ Tshireletso and Kavazovic, Pheto said the matter was now water under the bridge.

Tshireletso reportedly stormed out of training, irked by the Serbian but has since rejoined the rest of the squad.

He was rumoured to be on his way out, with Orapa United interested.

“It is now water under the bridge. The media blows issues out of proportion simply because it is Rollers involved.”

Regarding recruitment, Phetho said they are waiting for the coach to indicate his intentions.



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