'At times they play like Swallows with inverted full-backs'

Mngqithi sees shades of Birds in Belouizdad

Neville Khoza Journalist
Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi.
Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi.
Image: Kabelo Leputu/BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has likened their CAF Champions League opponents CR Belouizdad to Swallows FC, saying they play similar football.

Sundowns will meet the Algerian side in their second match of the group stages at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Sunday (3pm).

The Brazilians lead Group B on three points after their 2-0 victory over Sudan's Al Hilal at Loftus Versfeld Stadium two weeks ago in their opening match. Mngqithi said they are going to fight for all three points.

“I have looked at some clips of them. I didn't want to get carried away and focus on them before Baroka,” Mngqithi told the media. “They are a good playing team. We watched the game they played against TP Mazembe. We know what they're capable of... very intricate. At times they play more like Swallows with inverted full-backs, more especially in their build-up.

“Technically, the North Africans have got something to give; good overloads on the ball side. We also believe we've got the team that can compete and win. We will fight for that. We are not going for a draw. We believe we can win.”

Sundowns had to cancel their original trip for the game against Belouizdad last week. The match was then rescheduled for Sunday at a neutral venue in Tanzania.

Mngqithi warned his players that they would find it difficult to be fiedled if they do not work hard. 

“[If] you don’t perform at Sundowns, it’s very difficult for anyone to get an opportunity. I was making an example of [Sphelele] Mkhulise. When he played in Cape Town against Cape Town City, we won that match. He had a good game but due to medical reasons he found himself out of the team,” Mngqithi said.

“It became difficult for Pitso [Mkhulise] to come back into the team, and he’d never done anything wrong. But what do you do when AJ [Andile Jali] is performing, when Lebo [Maboe] is performing, when Mshishi [Themba Zwane] is performing, and everybody is giving a good account of themselves?

“We are trying to be honest and fair with everyone. We don’t take people out and we don’t want to have favourites that must play even when they’re not doing well.”

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