Can Mamelodi Sundowns Turn Their CAF Tie Around?
Mamelodi Sundowns will be looking to overcome a 2-1 deficit when they host Petro du Luanda for the return leg of their CAF Champions League semifinal tie on Friday.
The match is set to take place at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg , kick-off at 22h00 GMT.
The first leg in Luanda last weekend saw the Angolans cruise to victory thanks to Tiago Azulao and Yano goals in the first half.However, Lyle Lakay’s away goal for the South Africans gives them real hope of turning the tie in their favour.
The Brazilians have already recovered from first-leg deficits in a couple of Champions League ties in the recent years, and overturning a deficit at home is an incredibly easy task for the Naturena-based team.
Manqoba Mngqithi, the Sundowns co-coach, is confident that they can win the return game and advance into the final four of the premier club competition in Africa.
“We will stick to our playing concept, we are a team that wants to dominate the field and dominate the ball. Dominating the field means winning all duels, winning all our 1v1 battles and also dominating the ball possession and chances created,” Mngqithi told fans in pre-match interview.
“We want to see our team giving us what we are used to. It’s no different to a game that starts at nil-nil, we always want to score, we always want to win”
“We want to play a high octane game, where we have a strong elements of high pressing and strong quick short passing.”
Despite their advantage, Petro du Luanda coach Alexandre Santos has emphasised that the Petroliferos will not be resting on their laurels in the South African capital.
“[We need to be] very balanced offensively and defensively because when it comes to the quarterfinals of the Champions League against opponents like this, we have to prepare fundamentally from the point of view of the ability to not to make mistakes and strategically, be able to nullify the strengths of Sundowns which are several,” said the Portuguese tactician as per SuperSport.
The aggregate winners will progress into the semifinal and face either CR Belouizdad or Wydad Casablanca over two legs on 6 and 13 May. Ethiopian referee Bamlak Tessema Weyesa will handle the match in Johannesburg on Friday.