Thapelo Morena Looks Ahead of CAFCL Clash in Tunisia

Mamelodi Sundowns have finally landed in Tunisia for their CAF Champions Leage semifinal encounter against ES Tunis which will take place on Saturday evening at Stade Olympique Hammadi Agrebi. Ahead of the first leg of the two legged semi final round, defender, Thapelo Morena spoke about the importance of regeneration following a long flight to Tunisia and preparations in the last few hours before the match.

“I think regeneration is very important for us especially after the long flight and to bring back the fresh legs. Obviously when we arrived on Wednesday, we couldn’t do a lot but fortunately we were able to do a lot of work in video analysis,” the Downs defender stated.

Morena, as one of the defenders who represented South Africa at the most recent African Cup of Nations, would be aware of the style of play that the Tunisians would display, especially because Bafana Bafana played against Tunisia in the AFCON group stages where the match ended in a goalless draw. On the kind of play they should expect from the hosts, Morena highlighted that in order to get desired results, his side will need to squeeze their counterparts inside.

“Of course, in the first few minutes they will com guns blazing especially because they are playing at home. They are mostly going to go on the sides as how they played in the AFCON. The most important thing for us will be to try and close the sides and force them inside,” he said.

Just like the crowd of Egyptian side, Al Ahly, the Esperance supporters are one of the most exciting in African football. That however, according to Morena, who has played against the Smiling One before in 2017, will not make the Brazilians lose their focus.

“I think they have one of the best crowds I’ve ever played for as it’s not my first time playing in Tunisia an against ES Tunis. I think this season is going to be way better than the last season I was here because the team is not the same. We are going to have a great atmosphere, and the most important thing is the flames and firecrackers that will be around the field,” he stated.

“Our mindset is a bit different when we play in the Champions League because when you play away, you see the other teams’ supporters and how passionate they are at home. The atmosphere is going to be something else,” Morena continued.

Mamelodi Sundowns will go head-to-head with ES Tunis on Saturday evening at Stade Olympique Hammadi Agrebi in Tunisia. Kick off is scheduled for 21H00.

8 Responses
  1. Mfana

    Our morals are very low considering that we don’t know how 2 win a game in open play.Then again will Divine Lunga not b playing at left back ,if its like that we doomed 2 fail.Is Rhulani going 2 take almost the whole game 2 substitute?Is Sirino going 2 b sidelined or left at home?I have never been so doubtful about our team?Rhulani what have you done with the winning spirit of this team?Why don’t you need ppl whom u have been co-coaching this team.What happened with the crate that u used 2 sit on it when u were co-coaches?Or were u trying 2 steal the limelight?Rhulani bring back the confidence of these boys,we need progression to the finals and 2 the club world cup, u know a lot is at stake here.

  2. kick boboza

    Let me say good luck to the yellow nation, the foot soldiers, coaches, medical staff, fitness specialist, chefs and the mighty supporters of this team, to the team let us focus and not make mistakes, let us use the opportunities available, please let us play until the whistle is blown by the referee.

    I have trust on the boys and i know that they will do well that side today. to the coach we are behind you Pep, so guys let us swicth off the noise and score that important goal. ka bo yellow i remain. GOOD LUCK MASANDAWANA.

  3. Dalom

    It’s not like I’m expecting the boyz to proceed to the next round, both in the Nedbank and the Championship League. I’ve already made peace with the fact that we’ll only win the DStv league only this season again. This Esperance is beatable, they have nothing to offer really, but Jah, we’re just too bad these days. We’ve been riding our luck for far too long, and I guess it had to come to an end at some stage.

  4. Thabo J

    Da Costa is losing the balls many times for me to be able to count. Somebody must coach this guy.

    Motho I Mvala is committing grave mistakes every 10 minutes..

    Thembinkosi Lorch seems to be afraid and terrified to wear the yellow jersey.

    We need a better left back.

  5. Dalom

    Mkhulise can do a much better job than Allende, but the coach is just refusing to see it. I can’t believe he finished the game. We need a better central defenders, Kekana and Mvala are just a waste of time, though I believe Mvala can still do a better job, but not as a sweeper. Kekana plays as if he’s being remote-controlled. I just don’t know who to recommend for the central defence position, they’re all just Bad. You’ll think the boyz will overturn the scoreline at home, but alas, we’ll be seeing more of the same.

  6. Thabo J

    We cannot be complaining about how the opposition plays against us. We have to find solutions to deal with the so called defensive play or low block

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