Johannesburg-Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi has finally broken his silence so regarding the CAF Champions League group stage draw where they were pitted against Pitso Mosimane’s fearsome Al Ahly.
The other teams in Group A are Al Hilal and Al Merrikh both from Sudan.
“It’s a difficult draw, once you get to the Last 16 it’s always tough. About 70% percent of those teams have won the CAF Champions League before. We just have to soldier on and give it our best shot and make sure that your team is strong enough to compete. The big challenge in the group is that it involves extensive traveling to Sudan,” said Mngqithi.
“Al Hilal gave us trouble last year. Al Ahly has always taken us out in the quarterfinals. All the teams are well coached, Al Ahly is the biggest team in Africa. Hilal are always pushing for the quarters and are a very big team in the continent. But we have a team that is capable of upsetting the other teams. I’m confident in our coaches, support staff and the players that we can go far and give it our best shot,” he added.
The last time Mosimane came to SA to face Sundowns, he was subjected to a barrage of insults by a section of Sundowns fans. They even went as far as swearing at his mother.
Well, Mosimane, who is still at loggerheads with the Brazilians, is coming back to face Sundowns in the Group stages of the 2021/2022 CAF Champions League after the draw was conducted midweek. Sundowns will be playing against Al Ahly for the fourth season in a row in the Champions League.
Mosimane and Sundowns are involved in a bruising legal encounter and the Brazilians are suing Mosimane. Sundowns have filed a R8 million lawsuit against the former coach and his wife, Moira Tlhagale. Sundowns are demanding that he and his wife pay back an agent commission of almost R8-million linked to a staggering R1.5-million salary per month he was receiving from the team.
So, it will be interesting to see how the grudge match will pan out. It will also be interesting to see how Mosimane will engage his protégé Rulani Mokwena and his former assistant Manqoba Mngqithi on the touchlines in those two rounds of matches.
In other CAF Champions League news, PSL club AmaZulu will have a softer campaign in Group B. They were drawn together with Raja Casablanca of Morocco, Guinea’s Horoya FC and ES Setif from Algeria.
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