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Rulani wants CAF top spot as Usuthu await

Mazembe stand in Brazilians’ way to win CAF group

Neville Khoza Journalist
Aubrey Modiba of Sundowns challenges a Nouadhibou player at the CAF Champions League in Mauritania.
Aubrey Modiba of Sundowns challenges a Nouadhibou player at the CAF Champions League in Mauritania.

With a match against TP Mazembe to decide who finish top of Group A in the CAF Champions League on Saturday, Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena insists their focus is on Tuesday's DStv Premiership fixture against AmaZulu at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.

Sundowns have already sealed qualification to the Champions League quarterfinal for the sixth time in succession after their 2-0 win over Nouadhibou at Stade de la Capitale in Mauritania on Saturday.

Grant Kekana and Thembinkosi Lorch scored on either side of halftime to hand Masandawana victory. They are tied with Mazembe on 10 points, making Saturday's final match a decider on who keeps top spot.

“We have to get home first, so we need to recover now. It's a long flight and 11 hours to get home,” Mokwena told the media during the post-match press conference.

“We have a midweek match against AmaZulu because we take it one game at a time. We will see what we have to do against Mazembe, but the first thing is recovery and try to be well prepared for the midweek fixture against AmaZulu.”

Mokwena lauded his players after a dominant performance and said they expected a tough game from Nouadhibou. “We expected a tough game. We trained on the pitch, so we could see that the conditions will not be the best because we don't play on an astroturf in SA,” he said.

“The humidity and the dry air, it's not easy and Nouadhibou are strong at home. They had some very good results at home against the Pyramids and Mazembe.

“The four points that Nouadhibou got in the group stages were picked up at home. We expected a difficult match and it proved that with a lot of physicality and they are very organised with a very defensive line. I want to congratulate the club for the victory against a well-coached side.”

Meanwhile, Sundowns may host Mazembe at Orlando Stadium, with both Loftus Versfeld and FNB Stadium not available on Saturday. The Blue Bulls will host Stormers in the United Rugby Championship at Loftus, while Kaizer Chiefs will face Moroka Swallows at FNB, a venue Sundowns use sometimes for the Champions League.


Tuesday: Sundowns v AmaZulu, Loftus (7.30pm)

Wednesday: CPT v SuperSport, Cape Town (7.30pm); Arrows v Sekhukhune, Mpumalanga

Friday: Stellenbosch v Chippa, Danie Craven (7pm)

Saturday: Polokwane v Pirates, Peter Mokaba (7pm); Chiefs v Swallows, FNB (5.45pm); Bay v Royal, King Zwelithini (8pm)

Sunday: Spurs v Galaxy, Athlone (3.30pm)

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