Mamelodi Sundowns 1

Southern Africa back to the home of soccer mediocrity

Noel Munzabwa

Mamelodi Sundownsa�� 2016 Total Caf Champions League triumph had raised hopes for Africaa��s largest football zone, Cosafa but the events of the 22nd edition of the continenta��s supreme club tournament have left more questions than answers.

They flattered only to deceive and have indeed become a lost ball in tall grass.

Enjoying a fair representation of five in the 16 team group stages, the region was embarrassingly wilted to one a�� Primeiro 1 de Augusto who are in the last eight following the dismissal of the quartet of Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa), Mbabane Swallows (Eswatini), Township Rollers (Botswana) and Zesco United (Zambia) who joined our own FC Platinum who exited at the earliest stage of the showpiece.

Hope had risen when minnows like Township Rollers, Zesco United and Mbabane Swallows had negotiated the first round of the tournament.

Here in Eswatini,A� Mbabane Swallows made history by becoming the first emaSwati outfit to qualify for the group stage of the 2017 Total Caf Confederations Cup. This was not to last for long as they were booted out byA� Angola at the 11 November Stadium in Luanda on Tuesday afternoon.

This was a long time coming as on the 17th of July on the Mavuso Sports Centre Swallows were eliminated by Tunisia outfit, Etoile Sportive du Sahel 3-0.

The Tunisians wrapped it up with a 2-0 win in the reverse fixture.

Augusto remain carrying the sub-continenta��s hopesA� after a run which saw them beat FC Platinum 3-0 and Bidvest Wits 1-0.

They drew with Etoile Sportive du Sahel 1-1, before seeing off Zesco United 2-1 and Mbabane Swallows by a similar scoreline to progress to the last 8.

On the same day Zesco United played out a 1-1 draw against Etoile Sportive du Sahel while Mamelodi Sundowns gave a lifeless performance against Horoya.

Township Rollers managed a goalless draw against ES Tunis in Botswana.

Given Orlando Piratesa��A� 2012 Africa Cup of Nations triumph and Mamelodi Sundwons 2016 victory stakes the sub continentsa�� hopes had been raised given an increased representation at the 2018 edition.

The time is nigh for serious soul searching and subsequent corrective action to be taken to ensure the restoration of the glory the Orlando Pirates and Sundowns once gave theA� region.

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