Mokwena: We don’t play the occasion, we play the match

Mamelodi Sundowns coach, Rulani Mokwena, says he is under no illusions about how difficult it will be to take on CR Belouizdad.

Sundowns takes on the Algerian side in the Caf Champions League quarter-final, first leg. “It’s a good team and you can see with the domestic form, it’s a team that is going for the fourth domestic title in a row,” said Mokwena.

“It’s a team with a lot of competitive experience not just in the Caf Champions League but with the Algerian national team as well.”

The match will be played at the newly built Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algeria. The stadium holds a capacity of 40 thousand and Mokwena is aware of the history of playing at the stadium named after the former South African president.

“There is a lot of history attached to the name for us South Africans. We know what the name Nelson Mandela represents worldwide. Just the basic association of coming from the same country, of course, it gives us a good feeling and a lot of confidence.

“But as a team we understand that we don’t play the occasion but we play the match. And the match is going to be 11 vs 11 against a very good side. We are also a very good side and a team that is always gives it’s best and that is what we will do.”

Mamelodi Sundowns met CR Belouizdad during the 2020/21 group stage and won 5-1 in the first before losing in Pretoria.

“There’s a lot differences in relation to the previous fixture and one of the biggest is that we didn’t play in Algeria, we played in Tanzania,” adds Mokwena.

“Although there’s a little bit similarity but there is a big evolution in terms of the style of play and tactics. And there are couple of players that remain on the side and we have to understand.

“We are also under no illusion; we know how difficult the match will be. To play against North Africa sides has always been difficult for us. To go beyond the quarterfinals has always been difficult for us.

“We lost in the previous encounter in Pretoria. We are under no illusions of how difficult this fixture is for us. But we are very good team, with very good players who are honest and always give their best.”
By Zola Doda

error: Content is protected !!