Rulani Mokwena on the touchline

Sundowns spy on potential CAF opponents 

Home » Sundowns spy on potential CAF opponents 

In an effort to prepare themselves for the knockout phase of the CAF Champions League, Mamelodi Sundowns recently sent scouts to watch four possible opponents.

Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena revealed that they have already profiled each team they may face in the next stage of the competition.

Being group leaders means that when the quarter-final draw is conducted, the Brazilians will avoid meeting teams that also topped their respective pools.

Masandawana will not be paired against Wydad Casablanca, Raja Casablanca and Esperance, although their scouts watched all three teams.

Their potential opponents are one of CR Belouizdad, Algerian champions for the past three seasons, compatriots JS Kabylie (African champions in 1981 and 1990), or Tanzania’s Simba SC

The Brazilians mentor says the practice is nothing new as it has been done previously in preparation for the continental competition.

READ:Mamelodi Sundowns’ stance on Percy Tau

“It’s just the culture of the club. It’s the culture that was created before I was appointed, and it’s one that I have a responsibility to try and carry on,” said Mokwena. 

“We are a team that believes in excellence, but that is only bred through preparation and consistency, so delegating four of our analysts to travel, go, and scout and assess the Champions League opponents is just something that was done even before I was appointed head coach.

Mamelodi Sundowns celebrating a win in the champions league.

“It’s something that has helped the club achieve good results in the past in the Champions League, so our responsibility is to try and continue that way.

“As I said, it’s just a Sundowns culture, and it would be ill of me to take credit for that.”

Sundowns have struggled to progress beyond the quarterfinals in the last three editions. The recently crowned South African champions hope to emulate the 2016 feat.

In 2016, under the guidance of Pitso Mosimane, Sundowns lifted the prestigious title.

Mokwena is convinced that his current group needs to be given fair opportunities to make their mark and write their piece of history.

“And just like the squad that delivered the Champions League [in 2016], before delivering the trophy, I can remember how many times we tried and eventually, even when we did win the Champions League – if you remember, we were eliminated.

“So, you had to be fair to that group, and you have to be fair to this group and give them its fair amount of support and chance to be able to live its own football story.” 

The 35-year-old mentor is convinced Sundowns “will eventually win the Champions League”.

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