Mamelodi Sundowns landed in Algeria on Tuesday, as they prepare for their CAF Champions League Quarterfinal. The Brazilians will face CR Belouizdad this Saturday (22 April 2023) for the first game of the two-legged encounter. Head Coach, Rulani Mokwena, shared the travelling and training updates upon arrival for their weekend fixture.
Coach Mokwena provided an update on the team’s training and how they are settling in. “The team has already had an activation session done by the sports scientists and the medical department. We have done two training sessions and have moved into specific work on what to do for the match. A lot of the work has also been done behind the scenes with a video session.”
Having departed for Algeria with hopes of having enough time to acclimatize and prepare for the weekend fixture, the Coach mentioned that the team has also worked on profiling the opposition during the video sessions. He added that they have also been analysing the squad’s performances to see which areas we can improve in.
The CAF Champions League Quarterfinal fixtures will see VAR (Video Assistant Referees) deployed. Coach Rulani commented on the use of VAR and shared his expectations. He acknowledged that it’s a component that is handled by match officials and that it’s a part of the game that is open to flaws and human error.
Bafana Ba Style come from a week with a busy fixture schedule and could not get enough time to recoup after their last game before travelling to Algeria for the Champions League. The team travelled for 15 hours and connected from Cairo to Algiers.
“We have to stay focused because we’ll playing against a good side that knows that they will also be playing another quality side. Our focus is on the match performance and trying to make sure that we are at our best and performing to a level that is expected of us. Fortunately, we have very experienced staff and players who know how to handle the demands of a trip like this”, said the Masandawana Coach.
Playing the game at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algeria, The Brazilians Coach said, “There will be an opportunity for us to demonstrate our appreciation to him and what he has done for our country.” He further mentioned and emphasised that the main target is playing the match and doing the best they can to come out with a satisfactory victory.