Mamelodi Sundowns’ coach Pitso Mosimane views their match against Al-Ahly Benghazi in the first round of the Caf Champions League as a dual-mission which they must accomplish for the club and country. The Libyan side comprises of a number of players who are in the Libyan national team that Bafana Bafana will face in March with a place in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations up for grabs.
The Brazilians reached the first round after thumping Leones Vegetarianos 5-1 on Wednesday at Loftus Versfeld to win the tie 7-1 on aggregate. The victory was Sundowns’ third successive win, with the two Champions League matches sandwiched by the 2-1 win over SuperSport United.
“It could be better, normally we do five or six wins in a row,” Mosimane said. “But this time we are stuttering and that’s why I started with the team I fielded, we need the momentum. We need to build the momentum, build confidence and develop a winning streak. That’s important. You must also know where we are going. We are going to Al-Ahly Benghazi because they won. I think we’ll probably play them in Egypt (because of the political turmoil in Libya).
“That’s our next trip. It’s not an easy one because we have a thorn in the flesh which is the Baroka game in midweek. You ask yourself, when we are going to travel? If we can find a flight, we must travel the same night after the Baroka match so that at least you’re in Cairo the next day. That’s a big one, against a very big team. It’s up to the boys to bring confidence to the country. We have to win against that team so that we give Bafana Bafana confidence because most of the players who play for Libya are there. It’s important to win away.”
Sundowns visit Al-Ahly Benghazi on the weekend of 14-16 December before hosting the return leg on the weekend of 21-23 December. Before that, they’ll host Baroka FC at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
“Those people were playing in Cairo and before they were in Tunis,“They aren’t disturbed by not having a home. Don’t look at Libya as a country, looking at what’s happening there. They are based in one place, training and are focused. It’s not going to be easy. They also won’t have a midweek game like us. They are relaxed and are waiting for us. We have to do what we have to do, try and get a decent result away from home and not put ourselves under pressure to do everything at home, but hopefully we finish it here.” ” Mosimane said