Mamelodi Sundowns’ captain Hlompho Kekana took his teammates on a trip down memory lane this week so that they remember who they are. Kekana posted a video of the Brazilians winning the CAF Champions League in 2016 in anticipation of their clash with Al-Ahly Benghazi on Saturday at Loftus Versfeld.
The Brazilians take on the Libyan side with a place in the group stage up for grabs. Sundowns have to beat Al-Ahly Benghazi after being held to a goalless draw in the first leg in Cairo last week.
“I just felt that it was proper for me to post that video because of the emotions that are going on in the team regarding the Champions League,” Kekana said. “As players we tend to forget the good work we have done for ourselves, for the club and the country. Bringing that trophy to South Africa was no child’s play. We went through a lot to get this cup. We didn’t even have time to celebrate our victory because we had to quickly return to league football. I wanted that video to be a reminder of the work we have done, so that we do what’s required from us to win the matches. If you look at our goal, it’s motivation on its own. I thought that I should upload it because maybe we are starting to doubt ourselves with the good things we have done for the club.”
Sundowns’ clash with Al-Ahly Benghazi is a do-or-die match as Bafana BaStyle are chasing their fourth successive appearance in the group stage.
“It’s a big match for us,” Kekana said. “We really need to put the team in the group stage of the Champions League. As players we have a responsibility to put the team there and try and compete with the rest of the continent. We deserve to be there. We will try by all means to win the match because that’s the only way we can go to the group stage.”
Even though Sundowns haven’t been as ruthless as they have been in the continent, crashing out of the group stage last season – they are still a force to be reckoned with.
“If you go to Dolisie and survive there, then you won’t struggle playing in any other country. Such trips and matches prepare you mentally. If you take me now and say let’s go play in Cairo, I can go there with ease because I have played there several times. We’ve been there, winning matches. For Sundowns’ players, it’s easy now to handle playing anywhere.”