Victorious Mamelodi Sundowns shift focus to well 'rested' Orlando Pirates

Sibusiso Vilakazi celebrates his goal with coach Pitso Mosimane during the CAF Champions League match against USM Alger at Loftus on Saturday. Downs won 2-1. / Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images
Sibusiso Vilakazi celebrates his goal with coach Pitso Mosimane during the CAF Champions League match against USM Alger at Loftus on Saturday. Downs won 2-1. / Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

The mission to achieve total domination in Africa remains on course for Mamelodi Sundowns after they stormed into the CAF Champions League knockout stages in the most emphatic fashion.

The Brazilians guaranteed their spot in the next phase with a 2-1 victory over USM Alger at Loftus on Saturday afternoon in Group C.

Goals from Thapelo Morena and Sibusiso Vilakazi did the trick as Downs took their tally to 10 points from four games. They have progressed with two games to spare.

But Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane was not getting carried away. Mosimane acknowledged that there is a difficult road ahead in the competition.

"What's good is that we know the formula. In this competition at home you have to win and away at least draw," Mosimane said.

"We are still going to sweat. Qualification is good but those other teams are strong.

"You can't hide. If you want to go to the last four, we have to go through Al Ahly, Esperance, TP Mazembe, Zamalek, Raja Casablanca.

"To win the Champions League you have to beat these teams," the Sundowns mentor said.

With their quarterfinal spot secured, Sundowns can now turn their attentions to the domestic league.

They travel to Orlando Pirates at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday (7.30pm).

The Buccaneers, who have a new coach, did not have a game at the weekend and will have focused all their energies on the defending Absa Premiership champions.

Mosimane says they are used to playing "well-rested" opponents.

"It's always difficult when you are racing against well-rested teams. We can't complain about other teams waiting for us and not playing after seven days.

"We are an ambitious club. If we want to be up in the world rankings, then we can't be well rested."

Pirates are unbeaten under new German coach Josef Zinnbauer after two wins and a draw.

Mosimane conceded that the Sea Robbers were looking good at the moment.

"They are doing well. They have a new coach. The team is scoring goals, which is very good but it's the same players we know.

"I only hope we don't miss a lot because we create the chances to score."

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