No North Africa fears for Downs

The Citizen (KZN) - - Sport - Michael­son Gumede

Af­ter wrap­ping up their most suc­cess­ful Caf Cham­pi­ons League group stage cam­paign with a 1-0 vic­tory over Wy­dad Casablanca, Mamelodi Sun­downs will now wait with bated breath to see who they will be paired with in the quar­ter­fi­nals.

Sun­downs will face ei­ther Raja Casablanca of Morocco or Egyp­tian giants Za­malek and Al-Ahly, who they boast a good record against. Downs em­bar­rassed Ahly with a 5-0 thump­ing last year while they beat Za­malek 3-0 in the first-leg of the 2016 fi­nal.

Masan­dawana men­tor Pitso Mosi­mane says he has noth­ing to worry about as his side know how to play against the North Africans, who usu­ally dom­i­nate on the con­ti­nent.

“It is good to fin­ish on top of the log, which is what we wanted. It is a pos­i­tive change for the team. We are grow­ing slowly with the ex­pe­ri­ence and we tend to un­der­stand the tour­na­ment a lit­tle bit more now, we are no longer naïve,” said Mosi­mane.

“The most im­por­tant thing for us is to know how to play against the North Africans be­cause they have been dom­i­nant in club foot­ball. The ti­tle is al­ways in North Africa and they are al­ways in the semi­fi­nals.

“What is im­por­tant for us at Sun­downs is to un­der­stand their cul­ture and men­tal­ity and how they play. We have played Esper­ance, Al-Ahly, Za­malek, Wy­dad,

USM Al­gers and the re­sults have been good, which means we un­der­stand their men­tal­ity,” added Mosi­mane.

His plan is to not lose away and make sure they seal the deal in the re­verse fix­ture.

“When we go away we must not lose and we have to sort it out at home. If we score away, that’s much bet­ter.”

Pic­ture: Gallo Im­ages

GOAL. Ri­cardo Nasci­mento cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing dur­ing their Caf Cham­pi­ons League match against Wy­dad at Lu­cas Moripe Sta­dium on Satur­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.