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Sun Apr 20 23:00:32 SAST 2014

Mahlangu's dream in jeopardy

Nick Said | 28 August, 2012 06:280 Comments
Celtic's Scott Brown (top) challenges Helsingborg's May Mahlangu for the ball during their Champions League play-off soccer match between Helsingborgs IF and Celtic FC at the Olympia stadium in Helsingborg, Sweden August 21, 2012
Image by: Bjorn Lindgren / REUTERS

BAFANA Bafana star May Mahlangu's dream of playing in the Uefa Champions League group stages hangs by a thread with his side needing to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Glasgow Celtic in their second-leg match tomorrow night.

Helsingborg were well beaten in the home leg last week and now face the monumental task of beating Celtic in Glasgow.

If Helsingborg drop out, there is a chance that Mahlangu will have to complete his proposed transfer to Turkish side Galatasaray before Friday.

The Turks have a bye through to the group stages of the competition but Mahlangu will not be able to play for them because he has already turned out for Helsingborg in the competition this year.

Helsingborg have said they might let Mahlangu go if they do not reach the group stages of the Champions League.

In the Europa League on Thursday, Anele Ngcongca's Genk host Luzern.

The Swiss side claimed their first league win of the season at the weekend but will be the underdogs against Genk, who have not been beaten at home in six European ties.

That run includes home matches against eventual champions Chelsea, Valencia and Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League last season.

Ayanda Patosi's Lokeren must travel to the Czech Republic to face Viktoria Plzen with a slender 1-0 lead from the first leg.

It is a daunting away day for a side that already battles on the road, having won only one of its last seven away games.

It is a similar scenario for Bongani Khumalo and his Greek side PAOK, who hold a 2-1 lead over Austrian side Rapid Vienna from the home leg.

Khumalo has featured heavily for the Greeks since Tottenham Hotspur put him out on loan and he is finally realising his dream of playing European club football, even if it is only in the continent's second-biggest competition.

Kamohelo Mokotjo will be looking for a first start in the defensive midfield position when his Dutch club Feyenoord travels to the Czech Republic to face Sparta Prague. Feyenoord will have a lot to prove and are up against it, having managed only a 2-2 draw in the home leg.

Portuguese side Maritimo lead Georgian outfit Dila Gori 1-0 from the first leg and have the South-Africa-born Sergio Marakis in their squad.

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Mahlangu's dream in jeopardy

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