Africa gets ready for a Champions League South Africa v Egypt battle as Kaizer Chiefs face Al Ahly
The man feeling under the most pressure possible in soccer on Friday can be found in the romantic city of Casablanca contemplating a hundred tons of metaphorical and spiritual weight on his shoulders. That man is Pitso Mosimane who is the coach of Egyptian giants, Al Ahly.
That is quite the stress load already for the South African who is plying his trade at the continent's biggest club, the reigning CAF Champions League winners and also finalists in the Club World Cup, giving Bayern Munich something to think about back in the day.
Al Ahly are facing another Champions League final on Saturday - live on beIN SPORTS - and Mosimane knows what is at stake in both that match and in a tight Egyptian league battle against the hated rivals of Zamalek. "Here if you don’t win the Champions League and you don’t win the league, you might as well try and look [elsewhere]," sighed the Al Ahly coach.
The extra level of mental preoccupation is that Mosimane will be up against the Kaizer Chiefs in the final, a club from his beloved South Africa - "I am a South African plotting the downfall of my countrymen," noted a poor Pitso who has coached the Bafana Bafana but has to go full Bangles on Saturday and walk like an Egyptian.
Let's throw some more pressure on top of that. Mosimane will also be working to bring down the club he supported as a child.
But on Saturday, the 56-year-old will be focussed on Al Ahly and Egypt. Mosimane won the Champions League title for Al Ahly in 2020 but knows that history means nothing at his current club if he doesn't repeat the feat - "Al Ahly are not a welfare or charitable organisation handing out stars."
Of all the matches, of all the teams, in all the world it had to be the Kaizer Chiefs that Mosimane faces in Casablanca on Saturday.
You can catch the 2020-21 CAF Champions League final for free on beIN XTRA on Saturday from 2:50PM ET / 11:50AM PT.
USMNT perform as required against Martinique
The USA (population 328.8 million) gave Martinique (population 376,480) a 6-1 thrashing in Thursday's Gold Cup action. The win comes on the back of a victory over Haiti and sees USMNT through to the quarterfinals along with Canada, which defeated Haiti 4-1. The two teams will face-off on Sunday to see who tops the standings in the end.
Bradley Beal out of Olympics as Australia match is cancelled
There has been another setback in Team USA's preparations for the men's basketball tournament at the Tokyo Olympics. Washington Wizards star, Bradley Beal, is out of the squad for the Games due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Coach Gregg Povovich said that it was a huge personal blow for the player lamenting that "since he was a little kid, this has been a dream of his."
Because of these events, today's warm-up match against Australia has been cancelled leaving the USA with just the single game left against Spain on Sunday before heading to Japan on Monday.