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