Sundowns set sights on CAF Champions League title
Brazilians play Seychelles’ La Passe at Loftus today
After getting a bye in the first round, Mamelodi Sundowns will finally get their 2022/23 CAF Champions League campaign underway when they host Seychelles club La Passe FC at Loftus Stadium this afternoon.
The second leg will also be played in South Africa on Friday, October 14, because there are no adequate playing facilities on the Indian Ocean island.
Sundowns have spent a lot of money in the transfer market, and much will be expected from the Brazilians this term, especially after bombing out of the tournament meekly last season.
They were knocked out in the quarterfinals by Angolan club Pedro de Atletico
Sundowns have been dominating the PSL for so many years and have won just about every trophy in the league, and getting another CAF star will be high on their priority list.
The only time they won the Champions League was in 2016 under Pitso Mosimane, and the players are under no illusion that management is demanding nothing but the best.
The Brazilians have not gone beyond the semifinals since that time.
The club bosses, headed by young Tlhopie Motsepe, have done their part. They have brought in big-name players such as Chilean Marcelo Allende, Moroccan Abdelmounaim Boutouil, Bongani Zungu, Sipho Mbule, Ronwen Williams, Terrence Mashego and Ethiopian Abubeker Nasir.
Sundowns co-coach Rhulani Mokwena says they have taken lessons from last season’s early exit shock. “What really matters is not to think about the losses but about the lessons learnt. In football nobody is entitled to results, nobody has the Godgiven right to win every match.
“We take it seriously and watch the opposition and try our level best that our performances are right and because of that we win nine times out of 10.
“We give and try our level best to lift the trophy. With the Champions League, you need a bit of luck to get even beyond semis or the finals – but we have to generate our luck and have to work hard in every single game to win this competition.
“Competitions like these are not won when you play the semis or the final – it starts from the first match of the season where you build good winning habits and competitive mentality.
“What is important is to develop performance levels that are necessary when you get into the tournament,” Mokwena said.
What matters is not to think about the losses but about the lessons learnt