Sundowns To Represent Africa At Club World Cup In Japan

Written by Peter Pedroncelli

South African soccer club Mamelodi Sundowns will represent the African continent at the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup in Japan this December.

The Tshwane-based outfit earned the honour by becoming African club champions this past weekend. Sundowns beat Egyptian club Zamalek 3-1 on aggregate over two legs to secure their first ever African triumph in the CAF Champions League.

A 3-0 home win in South Africa just over a week ago added to a 1-0 loss on Sunday in Alexandria to secure the title over their Egyptian rivals.

Nigerian Stanley Ohawuchi scored the only goal in the second leg at the Borg El Arab Stadium, while Anthony Laffor, Tebogo Langerman and an own goal by Islam Gamal ensured the 3-0 victory at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville a week earlier.

Sundowns will play at the Club World Cup

The continental title means that The Brazilians, as they are affectionately known due to their kit colours, have qualified as African champs to represent the continent in Japan between December 8-18 at the Club World Cup, and they will be the first South African club to play in the showpiece tournament.

The champion clubs of each confederation will be present at the competition, with Real MadridĀ from Europe, Atletico Nacional from South America, Club America from North America and Auckland City from Oceania the confirmed continental champions taking part.

The AFC Champions League final will take place on November 19 and 26 to determine the Asian representative that will join the other sides in Japan.

The competition is held at the end of each year in a straight knockout format, and will officially crown the world champion club.

No African team has won the Club World Cup, which is a relatively new tournament, having launched in the 2000s.

Al Ahly of Egypt have participated on five occasions as African champions, but only two African teams have progressed to the title match of the competition before losing.

TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Moroccan club Raja Casablanca have managed to make it all the way to the final.