Mamelodi Sundowns coach, Rulani Mokwena, believes his side created enough opportunities to beat Al Ahly at Al Salam Stadium in Cairo.
Mamelodi Sundowns and Al Ahly played to a 2-2 draw in Caf Champions League Group B match.
“Congratulations to both of the teams for putting on a very good performance, I think the crowd enjoyed it with four goals,” Mokwena said after the match.
“We wanted to get three points but it’s not easy against Al Ahly, you’ve got to give a lot of respect. Congratulations to the players [I am] very, very proud of their efforts.
“Two things which I think I have to say which are important, one is; it was difficult to have Thapelo Morena on the bench because he’s been very, very good for us and then he comes in with an important goal to make it 2-2. Incredible attitude, incredible human being and a top footballer.”
“The second thing is, congratulations to the technical staff, my staff worked very, very hard on this game. Incredible investment, we watched 7 or 8 matches of Al Ahly, even today in the morning we watched another two games. As I said, we wanted three but we got one, we had the better chances in my opinion, we take the one and we move.”
Peter Shalulile opened the scoring for the visitors before the home side scored two second half goals through Abdelmonem and El Shahat. Thapelo Morena made it 2-2 with ten minutes remaining on the clock.
“We wanted to win today but we didn’t win, it’s an important point against a very good team. I said earlier that it’s Ronwen Williams first Champions League, Khuliso Mudau the right back, last season he was competing with Thapelo Morena in his first Champions League.
Mothobi Mvala’s first Champions League, he played a little bit last season but he was not starting and competing consistently at this level. Neo Maema, Teboho Mokoena and Cassius Mailula it’s their first Champions League.”
“Aubrey Modiba on the left back was featuring a little bit competing with Lyle Lakay who was the first [choice] starting last season, first Champions League. It would be unfair to judge them on the past, you would have to give them a fair chance to work, to play and to gain experience and to compete and the only way they can do that is to be on the pitch and play this type of games and feel this type of pressure and perform in these type of conditions, that’s the opportunity that we gave them.”
Sundowns will host Al Ahly in the next match on Saturday, 11 March.
Caf Champions League – Group B
Al Ahly 2 (Abdelmonem 59 El Shahat 74)
Mamelodi Sundowns 2 (Shalulile 34 Morena 80)
By Zola Doda
*Image courtesy of Mamelodi Sundowns