Sundowns on CAF mission to conquer Africa once again

Tshwane giants face DRC side Maniema Union

Manqoba Mngqithi and Rhulani Mokwena co-coaches of Mamelodi Sundowns.
Manqoba Mngqithi and Rhulani Mokwena co-coaches of Mamelodi Sundowns.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

The spotlight will be on Mamelodi Sundowns at the weekend as they embark on their quest to reclaim the CAF Champions League title.

The Tshwane giants will play against AS Maniema Union of DR Congo in the preliminary second-round first-leg at the Stade Joseph Kabila Kabange in the city of Kindu on Sunday at 4pm.

Co-coaches Manqoba Mngqithi and Rulani Mokwena walked away with the DStv Premiership monthly awards for August and September yesterday. The coaching pair received a trophy and prize money of R7,000 each for their outstanding work on the sidelines.

Sundowns are unbeaten in six Premiership matches and are on top of the log table with 14 points after an impressive start to the season.

“If we can limit the number of draws and win more games, we can achieve our goal. Our wish is to get more points than last season," said Mngqithi.

The Champions League talk overshadowed their Premiership achievements, and the pair said they are hungrier to achieve more accolades with the star-studded Brazilians.

Mokwena said they did their homework ahead of their first Champions League encounter against the Congolese opposition. He said they would leave for Congo closer to match-day and are ready for the mission.

“We sent a team to scout on the opposition. We have the experience of going to Congo although we are going to a different city this time. We are familiar with the environment and the weather. We would normally travel three or four days before kick-off.

"But [this time] we will leave closer to match-day because of situations we might face like lack of proper training facilities. The feeling is to complete our preparations here and leave a day before the game just to get a feel of the pitch,” explained Mokwena.

“We know their formation and the personality they have. They have great strikers and aggressive wing players. They have quick strikers, and we did a lot of work on them. We will prepare well. We have a responsibility to the country as a whole to do well in this competition and make sure the team is in the right space to win the two legs.”

The return leg will take place in Tshwane a week later.

Defender Mosa Lebusa is back from injury and resumed his training with the team ahead of the trip to the DR Congo.

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