Mamelodi Sundowns go from the freeze of a highveld winter to temperatures brushing up to 40°C amid the
smog and stifling heat of the Egyptian summer in overcrowded Cairo.
If that is not a shock to the senses, then the taxing
intensity of their African Champions League assignment
against one of the grandees of African football surely will.
Sunday’s Group B match against five-time winners
Zamalek comes as Sundowns continue to try and juggle
rest with preparation for the new season.
They have had no chance for a holiday, thrust immediately from championship-winning success in May into
the group phase of the Champions League, which runs
slap bang through the off season.
Not that it has been much of a hindrance so far. Victory
over Entente Setif away in Algeria in their opening group
game at the end of last month was arguably among
the best results achieved by a South African club in
African club competition, only for the point to be taken
away when the North Africans were kicked out of the
Although some at Sundowns were grumbling about
losing that result from their record, ensuring a top two
finish is a lot easier when there are only three teams in