Monday, 22 February 2021 16:15

Staff Reporter.

Kaizer Chiefs striker Leonardo Castro has CAF Champions League group stage experience after his time with 2016 winners Mamelodi Sundowns, but few of his teammates have been to this stage of the competition before.

Chiefs will host Guinea side Horoya on Tuesday in what has turned out to be their pool stage opener after their clash with Wydad Casablanca was finally set down for this Sunday in neutral Burkina Faso.

The Soweto giants played to a 1-1 draw with SuperSport United in the DStv Premiership on Saturday, which means a quick turnaround for the side ahead of what will be a bust and gruelling week of African club competition action.

"We played on Saturday and needed to recover for two days, and then we will see how they [Horoya] play," Castro says. "We will see how we need to play against them, we all know in the Champions League there are very tough games in the group stages.

"We need to work hard to get the result, it is not going to be easy. It will be a tough game, we need to be clever. We need to play with responsibility and need to minimise the mistakes. If we can score first, I think we will get the three points.

"It is important to start in the right way, if we win the first game ... obviously we need to make it count in our home games, it is going to be easier for us to go to away games then.

"We all know if away games if we can make a point it will count for us. It is going to be a big achievement if we can bring some points away games."

Castro says the difference between the Champions League and PSL is stark.

"It is different because the teams play in different ways. We are facing teams with different types of structure and obviously we all know the North Africans are, they are big, tall and strong. It is going to be interesting to see how we deal with that [against Wydad].

"The most important thing is to make it count in the home games, that is it."

Meanwhile Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns' drama in the Champions League has been resolved after Wydad AC and CR Belouizdad received ultimatums from the Confederation of African Football.

Amid the logistical chaos that saw Chiefs' fixture against Wydad postponed three times and Sundowns' trip to Algiers cancelled, CAF sent a straightforward warning to the North African clubs to find alternative venues.

Wydad and Belouizdad were handed deadlines for midnight on Sunday, 21 February to confirm their new agreed venues and dates or risk a 2-0 walkover result as per the CAF Covid-19 regulations.

And both sides have adhered to the call with the Tanzania Football Federation confirming they will host the Algerians against Masandawana on 28 February at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

Amakhosi will travel to Burkina Faso on the same date to face the 2017 African champions at the August 4 Stadium in the nation's capital, Ouagadougou.

In what would be a dramatic twist after securing new venues for the agreed dates, should Chiefs or Sundowns fail to honour the newly scheduled fixtures they will risk being handed 2-0 defeats, as per the rules.

Visa entries for South Africans to Burkina Faso can take up to two working days while there are no requirements for Tanzania.