Mamelodi Sundowns will look to take advantage of their good positioning in the CAF Champions League when they host Al Ahly SC on Saturday afternoon in Johannesburg.
Masandawana are in the final stages of preparations for the return leg of the CAF competition against rivals Ahly, a side they beat for the first time on Egyptian soil by 1-0 two weekends ago to go top of Group A.The venue for the prestigious clash between the two African giants on Saturday has been confirmed by the home side and the encounter will take place at the FNB Stadium, Soweto. The iconic FNB Stadium is known as the home of one of The Brazilians’ rivals in domestic league competition, Kaizer Chiefs. According to Downs’ goalkeeper, Kennedy Mweene, winning the upcoming clash against the Egyptians is what matters the most to South Africans.
“Our first game was also played away, we played the match in Rustenburg and there’s nothing that we can do, we have to go and play at the FNB Stadium. At the end of the day we are playing at home, we are used to playing at FNB, I think it’s about the country at the moment and not about the [Premier Soccer League] PSL, I think we are okay with it and we are looking forward to the game on Saturday.”
Only the top two teams in each of the four groups will progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League competition, Bafana Ba Style currently lead the standings with seven points after their three matches, while their opponents are in second place with four points.
“For us we are in a good space, that’s what we wanted to do – to collect points as soon as possible. We still have pressure on us but it’s not as much as the other teams that are following us, we must continue winning and maintain our number one spot. Our coaches have done a lot with us, we take this game as seriously as we can because we know we just have to do our best whether they have rested or not, we are not taking this game lightly.” Said Mweene.
“One thing we must not take advantage of is thinking that because we are at home and we have rested a bit while Al Ahly has been playing their games, I think that is the biggest mistake we can make. We just have to work extra hard because we know that whether they’ve rested or not they will come at us and we just have to be prepared.”
Masandawana started with Zambian veteran Mweene in goal against the Red Devils, without disappointing and leading the team to victory, the 37-years goalie showed class and experience in the historical win that became the talk of the town. Mweene shared insights into the mental and physical health that takes place behind the scenes.
“One thing you have to do is to remain positive, you must train smart especially when you are at my age. It all goes back to training, the kind of training we do with coach Wendell [Robinson]. I’m not that old so I think one just has to look after themselves and to see what you put in your system, it’s always looking after yourself, you can not cheat at football at the end of the day.”