We have a goal in Cairo: Sundowns coach
Rulani Mokwena says it will be hard for Ahly to bounce back from their first-leg defeat in the AFL
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena is confident his troops can score a goal or two against Al Ahly in Egypt in a battle for a spot in the final of the inaugural African Football League (AFL).
Sundowns will head to Cairo for Wednesday’s second-leg clash in an advantageous position after they defeated Ahly 1-0 in the first leg on Sunday in Pretoria.
Thapelo Maseko scored the only goal at Loftus Stadium, leaving Ahly with a tough job to do at home. The Club of the Century will need to win by a two-goal cushion if they are to proceed to the final of the lucrative tournament.
Any kind of a draw or win for Sundowns will see Mokwena’s charges progress to face Wydad AC of Morocco or Esperance of Tunisia in the climax of the competition. While Mokwena acknowledges they are not through to the final, he believes it will be hard for Ahly to bounce back from the first-leg defeat.
“We’ve got a goal in Cairo, we know that, and they know that also, and that stresses them a lot,” Mokwena said after the Pretoria match.
“The message they got is they know Sundowns can score in Cairo and you could see a bit of frustration from the [Ahly] players when they walked off the pitch.
“I would presume that having had something similar in the previous round and maybe even in the MTN8. We had something similar where we went away and home first and even last season in the (Caf) Champions League when we brought a 0-0 from Morocco [against Wydad]. The stress was not to concede and that’s going to be very stressful for them,” he said.
“The first thing they got to think about is, Sundowns mustn’t score an away goal.
“Let’s see what happens, it’s only halftime and it’s going to be an interesting game, but I think they also know that Sundowns have got a goal in Cairo, if not two.”
The winners of the tournament will take home about R75.7m, while the runners-up collect about R56.8m.
Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.