Sundowns Focusing On Horoya

Mamelodi Sundowns will go to Cape Town for the first leg of the MTN8 semifinal with one eye on the Caf Champions League where they have an important clash against Horoya to determine who will join Wydad Casablanca in the quarterfinals.

The Brazilians’ hectic schedule continues with a clash against Cape Town City at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday right after playing to a goalless draw with Highlands Park on Wednesday at Loftus Versfeld in the Absa Premiership. The match against the Lions of the North came right after Sundowns returned from a gruelling contest with the reigning African champions Wydad in Morocco on Friday night. But coach Pitso Mosimane didn’t make any excuses for Sundowns’ goalless draw with Highlands.

“It’s two points dropped, honestly speaking,” Mosimane said. “But look at the circumstances, and we tried to win. We created chances, not really big chances apart from the one that was cleared off the line from Wayne Arendse’s effort. But what can you do? We tried to play. We went into the other side. We never sat back.”

“They are the ones who didn’t want to start. They are the one who interrupted play. They are happy with the point. I saw the coach punching the air after the final whistle. I said, ‘oh, okay’, that meets their objectives to get a point here. They’re probably right to think like that.”

Sundowns will not dwell much on that draw as they have to take on the Citizens in the Mother City in the first leg before hosting them in the return leg with a place in the MTN8 final up for grabs. But Mosimane’s main priority is the tie with Horoya at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Tuesday.

Horoya need just a draw to advance to the quarterfinals while the Brazilians need a win to make it to the knockout stage of the Champions League for a third year in a row.

“We have to refresh the squad,” Mosimane said. “Mshishi (Themba Zwane) and them must rest. We have an important game on Tuesday which determines our fate in the bigger scheme of things in the Champions League. Those who were playing here must rest a bit. Let other guys get a chance to go to Cape Town and play. But I don’t think that this team will play. We will bring another team, maybe the one that played against Kaizer Chiefs in the Shell Helix Ultra Cup. We will bring that one, hopefully they hang in there, it’s possible.”

“What if they win? You’ve got to understand that we have another chance in the top eight here in the second leg. But you can’t put the first leg of the MTN8 semifinal ahead of the Champions League where it’s a win at all cost.”