Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane stresses CAF importance

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Sundowns are a point away from reaching the semi-finals of the event following a 2-1 victory over Egyptian giants Zamalek in Cairo on Sunday night.

Downs previously beat Nigeria's Enyimba in their Group B opener, with Mosimane proud of how his men have performed on the continental stage.

"For us, as South Africans, we are not too far. The gap is closing. Look at Bafana, when they're playing away against Senegal and Cameroon... They are doing very well, bar some mistakes and loss of concentration and we draw or lose," says 'Jingles'.

"The Champions League provides... We need to take the Champions League seriously because it provides the national team with opportunities in terms of players.

"You can never go to Egypt and play against Ahmed [Mekki] of Zamalek - he's playing in the national team of Egypt - so 'Sugar' [Tiyani Mabunda] can play against him, now you know he can play in Cairo.

"Because that matches that [national team] level. There's no other level, it's the highest level. So he can play. Now you know; Shakes [Mashaba] knows... You want Mabunda in midfield, he's there."

He adds: "Okay you've got [Dean] Furman, Andile [Jali], 'Keke' [Hlompho Kekana], there's [Bongani] Zungu, but the talent is there [pointing at Mabunda]. We have.

"We just unveiled Keagan Dolly, now you have somebody on the left. We took Tebogo Langerman to Gabon, I'm not saying he's the best but, it provides opportunity to say 'we're safe; we have more.' It's not only Thabo Matlaba.

"We've got Siyanda Zwane - he's safe at the highest level. Secured. Safe. Okay, maybe you want more attack, you can experiment with anybody else, but if you need safety he's there.

"You need Thabo Nthethe at centre-back? If you have a problem, he played at centre-back against Setif and there was no problem. He played against Enyimba and there was no problem. He played against AS Vita at home and away, there was no problem. Those are big teams in Africa.

"You want Wayne Arendse as support? The man is there, he's strong, and he scores by the way, remember? He scores on set-pieces.

"So it's open. They're tried, they're tested. Okay, you can stay with Rivaldo Coetzee - a good player, young, up and coming - or Erick Mathoho - also very good. But hey, if you want tried and tested it's there also hey. It's your choice.

"Wayne Sandilands can go to Setif in case, Itu [Khune] is number one, if he's injured we have enough. Come here."