Draw­ing Al-Ahly seems to be a given, says Pitso

The Citizen (KZN) - - The Backpage - Michael­son Gumede

Fin­ish­ing first or sec­ond in the Caf Cham­pi­ons League group stages seems to not help much, sug­gests Pitso Mosimane (right) af­ter his Mamelodi Sun­downs were drawn with Egyp­tian heavy­weights Al-Ahly in the quar­ter­fi­nals for the sec­ond sea­son on the trot. Mosimane wanted to ac­tu­ally play Mo­roc­can side Raja Casablanca but his wish was not granted.

“It is a big team and the play­ers have been say­ing they want us so that they can cor­rect the 5-0 re­sult (from the first leg of last year’s quar­ter­fi­nal). If you asked me if I wanted to play Al Ahly, I would have said no, I would have pre­ferred to play Raja. They are a dif­fer­ent op­po­nent, we have played Wy­dad Casablanca, Za­malek, Esperance, TP Mazembe and all those teams ex­cept Etoile du Sa­hel and Raja,” said Mosimane.

“But we ended up with AlAhly again and last sea­son we were not happy to fin­ish sec­ond against Wy­dad in the group, we were fight­ing to be first so that we could avoid the big boys but we fin­ished sec­ond and who did we get? Al-Ahly, who fin­ished first in their group. This sea­son we fought to fin­ish at the top but who did we get again? So this thing does not work, I think it is only for brag­ging rights,” he added.

The ag­gre­gate score was 5-1 be­tween the sides last sea­son and Sun­downs re­mark­ably thumped the Team of the Cen­tury 5-0 in the first-leg. “Jin­gles” knows the Egyp­tians will not take Masan­dawana lightly.

“They are a huge team and I think they are too emo­tional with us and that might prob­a­bly help us be­cause we have noth­ing to prove, they have to prove that they can beat Sun­downs. Maybe the ques­tion to Sun­downs is, was it a flash in the pan? I don’t think we will get the same score but I think we played con­vinc­ingly well against Wy­dad and USM Al­ger and all I know is that we will play well against Al-Ahly here at home. The chal­lenge will be how we man­age that game away.

“They will prob­a­bly say Pre­to­ria is a prob­lem, let’s fin­ish th­ese peo­ple here first be­fore we go there. But I don’t think they will un­der­mine us. Last year was too im­pact­ful for them.”

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