Swallows FC boss Ernst Middendorp links Pirates to Sundowns amid fight for CAF Champions League football

With Mamelodi Sundowns seem already run-away candidate for CAF Champions League football next season, SuperSport United, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs battle for the one remaining slot.

SuperSport lead Pirates and Chiefs two points but with the two latest winning their latest PSL games their chances have increased but despite that only one will join Sundowns.

Kaizer Chiefs beat Richards Bay away to intensify their race for African football while Pirates also thrashed Swallows FC 4-1 to turn on the heat on SuperSport who at the moment qualify for Africa.

Pirates forward Monnapule Saleng grabbed a hat-trick with Terrence Dzvukamanja also on the score sheet for Bucs. The Dube Birds scored their goal courtesy of Mthokozisi Shwabule.

Swallows FC boss Ernst Middendorp has tipped Pirates to be one same level with Sundowns. The quality with which Pirates have groomed over the years is something pushing the Bucs for Africa, suggested Middendorp.

He went on to wish Pirates – who are chasing Caf Champions League football – the best in the remaining matches this season.

“I can only repeat, that whoever thinks the squad we have here is capable to compete with teams who have a number of first-class players inside the PSL, for me the squad is on the same level as the squad from Sundowns, there is no doubt about it,” Middendorp said as quoted by iDiski Times.

“Congratulations to Pirates, that is all I can say [about the result.”

By Middendorp comparing Pirates to Sundowns further suggests Jose Riveiro’s team are on an upwards curve.

The Sea Robbers lost both home and away against the Brazilians in the Premier Soccer League, however, Bucs defeated Downs 3-0 on aggregate in the MTN8, a competition the Soweto giants eventually won.

Pirates also claimed a 4-0 win in the Black Label Cup meaning they have players who can match the quality of Rhulani Mokwena’s team.

While Pirates are preparing to play minnows Venda FC in Nedbank Cup’s Round of 16, Swallows prepare to face Golden Arrows in the PSL.

Orlando Pirates lost the 2013 CAF Champions League title 3-1 aggregate to record holders Al Ahly. Mamelodi Sundowns won the title in 2016 and Kaizer Chiefs played in the 2021 finals.

These achievements show a vast development of South African football.

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