Both Teams Will Be Looking For a Result – Manqoba Mngqithi

Mamelodi Sundowns face Al Ahly in the return leg of the CAF Champions League on Saturday afternoon in Johannesburg.

After narrowly beating Ahly 1-0 two weekends ago in Cairo, The Brazilians have remained at the top of Group A with seven points from their three matches played, while The Red Devils are in second place with four points. Downs Co-Coach, Manqoba Mngqithi has set his heart on a thrilling encounter with the Egyptians on Saturday.

“We are going to a very tough encounter, a game that has got so much insight and a game that can determine our season. It’s a game of consequence because both Ahly and ourselves are looking for a result that can maybe get us into the quarterfinals or stamp the position in the group stages. Also considering that they lost their first match against us on their home ground, obviously they will come for vengeance hoping to try and upset us in that space.”

“It’s a match that I think will be enjoyable to the spectators because I believe when two big clubs are playing with the mentality to try to win the match and not just playing for a draw or to play to consolidate their place with a mentality of one point or not to concede goals, it becomes a very interesting match for the spectators and that for me is one thing that I think will make this match a very special match. Both teams will be looking for a result.”

Bafana Ba Style and the Egyptians met for the 11th time in this competition, with their first match dating back to 2001. Coach Manqoba reflected on the previous encounters and shared insights on the experiences gained. He said, “There are a lot of lessons that one has learned in the Champions League over the years, but those lessons do not give clues for the next competition because they always present a unique scenario. 

“Over the past three Champions League we were facing Ahly in the quarter finals and we were unfortunate to lose against them, we had to always try to dig deeper to find solutions to beat them. If we look at our performance in terms of the data, we are saying we performed far better last season against them in both matches, I think we had a total average of 64% ball possession, the number of shots were good, the box entries, our counter presses, our turn overs, everything was statistically looking very good but when we look at this match that we won, statistically it does not give the impression that we performed at the level of which we performed at the last time.”

This highly anticipated encounter has the potential to determine who will finish as pool leaders between the two sides. The defending champions of this competition might come out seeking revenge when they go up against the South African champions, however Masandawana’s focus is on advancing to the next round of the Champions League.

“Whatever result comes in this match might not necessarily mean anything in terms of topping the group, but it might mean something in terms of guaranteeing one of the two teams qualification into the quarter finals. At this stage, as Sundowns our focus is always streamlined into first qualifying for the quarter finals, then secondly the potential to top the group if needed [because] it’s not always the most important thing to top the group. What is mainly important in the group stages is to make sure that you qualify for the quarter finals.” Expressed Coach Manqoba.

This CAF Champions League group A match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Al-Ahly has been scheduled to be played at FNB Stadium, kick off is at 15H00. This game will be televised live on SuperSport Channel 208.

1 Response
  1. DOWNS4EVER

    Go out there and make us proud,we must ensure that Ahly don”t progress to the last 16 by beating them tomorrow,let us eliminate the enemy now,pressure is on them.The key to beating them is the right team selection and substitutions by the technical team.We have enough skill and talent to beat them again.Welcome back to Lebo,you are a hard worker and a fighter. Good luck. .

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