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MBABANE – Green Mamba’s CAF Champions League journey to reach the group stages has to pass through an ex-Mamelodi Sundowns star, Ellias Pelembe.

The legendary Mozambican star ended his 16-year stay in the South African top flight when he parted ways with Royal AM at the end of 2022/23 DStv Premiership season. Green Mamba will play against the former Mozambique international’s team, UD Songo, in the Confederation African of Football (CAF) Confederation Cup first preliminary round, which will take place next month. The winner will face Angolan side Petro Athletico in the next round.

The 2007/08 PSL Footballer of the Season left South Africa with four league titles under his belt and just 300 appearances in the premiership. Pelembe featured for Supersports United, Mamelodi Sundowns, and Bidvest Wits before ending his spell in SA football with Royal AM, contributing three goals and four assists in 29 appearances for the Kwazulu-Natal-based side. UD Songo signed Pelembe in preparation for the upcoming CAF Champions League campaign. According to Noticias Online Mozambican publication, during his unveiling Pelembe said he would do his best to make sure that his team reached the CAF Champion League group stages. “What you can expect is the best of me. I know most of the players here. I have played with them and also against them,” said Pelembe when interviewed by Noticias in July 15.


Other stars in the Mozambican side are central midfield John Banda from Malawi (29), right-back Bheu Januario and Abeddy Biramahire from Rwanda. UD Songo consists of 12 National team players. Some of the players are Lau King, Frank Banda, Leonel Mario Pendula, Pascoal Amorim and Mustafa Arnaldo. In a previous interview with the sports desk, senior player Lawrence Mncina had highlighted that they were not afraid of anyone.  With UD Songo having Pelembe in the team, it is an advantage to ‘Mabon’ahlonishwe’ , as they have watched him play in the PSL.
When reached for comment, former club captain Banele ‘Makonese’ Dlamini said it was very hard to talk about this team because they did not know them. “We have never seen them, it is up to our coaches now to go and research about them,” he said.