Mokwena – North African Clubs Have Won This 35 Times

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena has played down the favourites tag for the CAF Champions League title pointing to the football heritage of

 

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena has played down the favourites tag for the CAF Champions League title pointing to the football heritage of North African clubs.

Sundowns have reached the last four of the competition for only the second time since winning their maiden title back in 2016 and have been pitted against the champions.

However, their performances, which include a 6-2 aggregate win over Algerian champions CR Belouizdad in the previous round and a double over record ten-time champions Al Ahly in the group stages.

These displays have seen several publications in Morocco and Egypt label Masadawana as the best team in Africa and likely to achieve their second star, something that Mokwena denies will come as easy as they were handed the tag.

“I’m very sober, I’m very sober in understanding what we have done [this season], it’s not allowed us to win anything,” Mokwena said in the pre-match press conference.

“If you look at the history of the Champions League you will know that 35 times this trophy has been won by a North African side, you look at the teams that are remaining in the last four and you see for yourself how many Al Ahly have won, how many times Esperance and Wydad have won the Champions League, more than Mamelodi Sundowns.

“If you look directly at our opponent you understand this is their fifth consecutive semi-final appearance, whereas this is the first time in a very long time that we appear in the semi-finals, so it’s very clear, that when you look at everything, we don’t have the pressure, we just have to continue to enjoy what we’re doing.

“When the Champions League started [this season] the notion was Sundowns always play good football and Sundowns always do well in the group stages, only to crash out in the quarter-finals, we’ve gone and done one better this season which makes us extremely proud of the efforts the players have put, the effort the technical team has put and the club in its entirety has put to get us this far.

“But it means nothing if we don’t continue with the performances and show good integrity and credibility for the club, it’s an important competition and we have to keep this respect.”

The first-leg semi-final tie between Sundowns and Wydad will take place at the iconic Stade Mohamed V on Saturday evening (21h00).

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BWS - South African Football News: Mokwena – North African Clubs Have Won This 35 Times
Mokwena – North African Clubs Have Won This 35 Times
Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena has played down the favourites tag for the CAF Champions League title pointing to the football heritage of
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