Laffor: We Have To Show Why We Were African Champions

Mamelodi Sundowns’ forward Anthony Laffor is confident that the Brazilians will bounce back from their slow start and show not only AS Togo-Port but the rest of the continent too why they were African champions two years ago.

The Brazilians take on the Togolese champions in Lome on Tuesday at 3pm South African time in their third match of the Caf Champions League group stage. Sundowns have collected just two points from their first two games against Wydad Casablanca of Morocco and Guinea’s Horoya. If Sundowns can secure wins in their back to back meetings with AS Togo-Port they will move closer to qualifying for the knockout stage.

“Sometimes you start slow and then win the competition,” Laffor said, speaking from Lome. “We have started slow this season but I think that it is about time that we put our feet on the ground and show people that we are former African champions and where we are isn’t a true reflection of us as a team. We just need to start winning games.”

“Where we are in the group is not where we are supposed to be as Sundowns. But then if you look at it, we have the perfect opportunity to move from that position. We need to win here and then go to South Africa and win that game too and then we will be No. 1 or No. 2. If you’re No. 1 or No. 2 in the group, you progress to the next stage. That’s a possibility.”

While Sundowns are targeting their first win in the group stage, AS Togo-Port are in search of their first point as they have lost both their games.

“West African teams are physical,” Laffor said. “But as a team, we don’t focus much on what other teams can do, we look at what can we do. We do our own tactics. Most of the times the games that we win is because of our ball possession. We play our own way. We listened to what our coach wants us to do. We can catch them on a break because they are strong and they’ll want to kick us. We just have to stick to our game because at the end of the day good football wins you games.”

Sundowns have been in Togo since Friday to get accustomed to the conditions and the artificial pitch they will play on. The 2016 African champions have experienced the humid and rainy conditions in Lome. The conditions are nothing new for the Liberian star.

“When I heard about the time of the kick off, I thought wow, one o’clock (Togo time) on an artificial pitch? That’s going to be hot in the dry season,” Laffor said. “But the good thing for us is that this is the rainy season. So the weather is going to be cool so it’s a good time for us to play.”

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