Pitso Mosimane admits Champions League football lured him to Mamelodi Sundowns


A win in Cairo would all but secure Sundowns' passage through to the last four but Mosimane is wary of the threat that Zamalek present.

“That is the reason why I came here, I came here [to Sundowns] for Champions League,” says Mosimane.

“More than anything I had to make sure that we have a very good foot print in Champions League and we have done exceptionally well where we are right now in the group stages.

"Even next year we will not be playing preliminary round in my opinion like Leopards, TP Mazembe and even Setif all of whom don’t play those games.

"I believe the consistency will be there in CAF and in that you play one game then you are in the group. For the last three years we have been playing in that Champions League space which is good.

"What we need to do is do better than we did last year which we did this year so the pressure will remain on us next year in that we need to improve."

With Group B trimmed down to three teams following the disqualification of ES Setif, passage to the semi-finals will arrive sooner than anticipated with victory tonight edging Sundowns to within touching distance of the next stage.

“It is good to say that but you have to do the work first. Confidence says that it is doable and possible but you have to understand that we are playing a strong team, this is the mighty Zamalek.

"It is not going to be that easy. The good thing is that we broke the ice with the North Africans when we won in Setif and it is possible but you have to respect and tread carefully and make sure that you get a result.

"It would be nice to get three but if we get one it is not bad, but the best thing is to get three."

'Jingles' went on to state that a change of coach for their opponents hasn't really elicited any real tactical changes from his side.

“They have changed the coach, they had the Scottish [Alex Mcleish] and then there is a local coach but the tactics are still the same because I watched the games of the Scottish and those of the local coach.

"They still play the same way, typical North Africans and it will be like the game against Setif, avoid set pieces because they have proper technique and they deliver the ball well and they have the height. We have to be on top of our game in that aspect and stop making silly mistakes, avoid corner kicks."

The Brazilians' mentor went on to underline which players his team needed to keep an eye on and what was required of them in order to claim victory.

"Football-wise they have two quality players, one on the right number 30, number 3 who plays like Esrom Nyandoro in distributing balls as the man who starts the show and they have got a big fighter in their number 17, the striker who scored against Enyimba. Powerful striker like [Thamsanqa] Gabuza in body and everything... so those are the important players that we have to look after," said Mosimane.

“But they have a good team because look, they are Zamalek. You know North Africans, they are like Europeans. Just look after set-pieces, move away from confrontation of set-pieces and aerial balls and we should be able to do well.

"We need those goals that Khama [Billiat] scored, the second one, one versus ones, take two people on, big boys, turns in and out, it is very difficult for them, that kind of game they can’t deal with."