Amakhosi will be the third South African team to win this coveted continental trophy after Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns.
Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi feels the Soweto giants, by reaching the Caf Champions League final, have testified that the Premier Soccer League is a tough competition.
Chiefs are in the Champions League final for the first time in their history and they will face Al Ahly on July 17 at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca.
After Orlando Pirates won the 1995 edition of Africa’s elite club competition, before Mamelodi Sundowns clinched it in 2016, Chiefs would be out to emulate their rivals in Gauteng.
‘This is actually great progress for the South African league. “Sundowns raised the bar by winning the Champions League and now it is Kaizer Chiefs in the final,” Akpeyi told Chiefs media.
‘It says a lot about how much progress the league has been able to make for some time now. And for the South African people, I’m sure everyone is excited, because Kaizer Chiefs is one of the many beloved teams in South Africa.
‘It is therefore more like a happy moment for every South African citizen to see the team come at this stage and win the trophy. I’m so sure everyone is waiting in South Africa on July 17 and waiting to see Kaizer Chiefs return with the trophy. ”
Interestingly, Chiefs face Al Ahly, who beat Sundowns in the 2001 Champions League final before beating the Cairo giants in the 2013 final against the Orlando Pirates.
Akpeyi is aware of the task ahead of them on July 17 and says it requires them to bring their “A game” with them.
“I’m sure everyone knows that Al Ahly is a tough team, they are a solid team and they are a team that needs to be 120 percent focused,” Akpeyi said.
‘It’s not going to be an easy day, but I’m sure that’s why we’re preparing early, as we’ve currently working out strategies and plans in camp on how to tackle this giant game. I’m sure they [Al Ahly] also expect a lot from us.
‘It’s just a game to be focused and for each team to seize their opportunities as soon as they arrive. So we prepare for the big game, for the big team and looking back at the history of the team, you realize they won a lot, including the Champions League, so I’m sure they have the experience with them.
“We come as an underdogs and we respect them, but at the same time we come with our A-game.”
In the Chiefs group, there are only attacking midfielders Khama Billiat and Leonardo Castro who have previously won the Champions League when they were with Sundowns.