How Sundowns set new CAF record for SA teams
Following Mamelodi Sundowns' record run in the CAF Champions League group stages which saw them seeded for today's draw in Cairo, what did we learn?
Sundowns topped Group C with 14 points from six matches, in the process becoming the first SA team to go unbeaten in the CAF group phase.
Sundowns had a good home record where the Champions League success is built on. They have won all their matches at home where even coach Pitso Mosimane did say that it is not easy for teams to come to Pretoria and get points.
"Here (Pretoria) it's very difficult for anyone to walk here. We know it's not easy in Lubumbashi (DRC), but can anyone say they want to come to Pretoria? It's not easy because sometimes you don't find the ball here."
Unlike in the past years, Sundowns have conceded fewer goals in this campaign (three) compared to five they let in last year. Former defender Matthew Booth, who was part of the Sundowns team that played in 2001 final against Al-Ahly, believes that the experience they gained with Mosimane in the continent gives them an advantage.
"The core of that team has campaigned two or three times already in the continent and that's what happens when you get the experience of that nature," Booth told Sowetan.
"You could see there is calmness in that team when they travel. They fear nothing anymore because they have gone through that before, and that is what you need in the Champions League. That's what North African teams are so good at because they tend to win their domestic league every year. In our league, it is not necessarily the case and that gives them more opportunity to a campaign when it happens."
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