Tiyani Mabunda and Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane celebrate in Pretoria, January 11 2020. Picture: LEFTY SHIVAMBU/GALLO IMAGES
Tiyani Mabunda and Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane celebrate in Pretoria, January 11 2020. Picture: LEFTY SHIVAMBU/GALLO IMAGES

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane says their rivals in the African Champions League dread trips to SA and are well aware that winning in Pretoria is a tough task.

Sundowns qualified for the quarterfinals of the Champions League with two games to spare after a hard-fought 2-1 win against USM Alger of Algeria at Loftus on Saturday and Mosimane said teams on the continent have immense respect for the Brazilians.

“They know that when they come to Pretoria it is not easy‚” he said. “We control the game here and we always have a chance of winning at home. I think in 2016 nobody really knew us‚ everybody said which team is this but now they know us.”

Mosimane was happy his charges ticked the important box of defeating a strong north African side after beating USM Alger home and away.

“It is the first time in our history that we have qualified for the knockout stages with two games to go and we have once again beaten a north African team home and away‚” he said.

“We haven’t been winning away games in North Africa but we broke the ice against Zamalek in 2016 and we have done it again against USM.”

Sundowns rode their luck in the match as Alger attacker Mohamed Meftah hit the woodwork from the penalty spot four minutes from time‚ which could have denied the home side the victory.

“They missed a penalty and they could have scored‚” Mosimane said. “But I can also say how many chances we missed to increase the score.

“We controlled the game and we tried as much as possible to keep possession through Andile Jali and Hlompho Kekana. Their job was to come out with the ball from the back and try to tire their strikers. We achieved that but our penetration was not as strong as our dominance on possession.

“What is important is to qualify and we have done that with two games to go and I am happy with that.”

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.