Downs keep faith for CAF semifinals
Mosimane has already instructed the team to get visas for Algeria
AS MAMELODI Sundowns players gear up to face Morocco side Wydad Casablanca, they would have learnt the differences between hope and faith from their coach Pitso Mosimane.
Hope that they will win the CAF Champions League quarterfinal first leg clash on Sunday at the Lucas Moripe stadium on Sunday – as well as the return leg in Morocco next week.
And faith that they will make the competition’s semifinals, as coach Mosimane has already instructed the team to get visas to Algeria, where they will camp for two weeks after the Wydad away leg. This means Mosimane believes they will make the the semifinals of the competition they are trying to defend, likely against Algerian side Uesma.
That alone is a massive message to Sundowns players such as Percy Tau, Themba Zwane, Hlompho Kekana, Khama Billiat and Sibusiso Vilakazi that losing in the last eight of Africa’s most premier club competition is not an option.
Mosimane explained his decision to get Algeria visas after the Wydad away leg clash as making sure that the team does not do unnecessary travel, but admitted that it would be money wasted in terms of flight bookings, accommodation and visas if his side fails to make it to the last four.
The only dent to this year’s championship charge is that Sundowns have never won a home match during the competition’s group stages and Zwane wants it fixed as soon as Sunday.
“We are confident that we will make it because we have been watching Wydad. We are already aware of their strengths and weaknesses.
“For us, it works that we are playing at home first, but that will only show if we can get results here first. It will make things easier when we go there. They will be forced to open. We will have to get three goals and stop them from scoring,” the Sundowns’ main creative spark said.
It will be in this match that Mosimane will hope that Tau will be in the mood just as he was when he scored a brace against Free State Stars in the league on Monday.
Wydad will look to their talismanic striker Achraf Bencharki to lead their line. The match at the Lucas Moripe Stadium will start at 3pm.
*Sundowns fans wearing yellow or the team’s colours will gain free entry into the stadium, while adults in plain clothes will only pay R20, with children paying R10.