- Published on 29 July 2016
MAMELODI Sundowns are on a big mission – to WIN the Caf Champions League title for the first time!
The Brazilians have promised not to take their foot off the pedal despite being the runaway winners of Group B with nine points and a game to spare.
Coach Pitso Mosimane’s charges have fired a warning shot to the rest of their Champions League rivals, showing they mean business in Africa’s premium club competition this year.
The Tshwane giants have maintained their 100% record in the three-team group with three victories, one against two-time champions, Nigeria’s Enyimba, and two against five-time champs Zamalek of Egypt, to reach the semifinals.
The SA Premiership champions defeated Enyimba 2-1 and completed the double over Egyptian heavyweights Zamalek, beating them 2-1 in Egypt and 1-0 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Pretoria midweek.
Mossad Ali’s own goal 10 minutes from time was the defining moment of Wednesday’s game.
Downs top the group, Zamalek are second with three points and Enyimba are bottom with no points from three matches.
Downs play Enyimba in their last group game in Nigeria on 23 August.
The Tshwane giants will meet Group A’s second placed side in the semifinal. Good news is that they will play the second leg at home.
There is an air of excitement in the Brazilians camp, with both the technical team and players highly pumped to capture the title.
Zwane said they were determined to emulate 1995 Caf champions Orlando Pirates and become the second South African team to achieve this feat.
The last time they came close to clinching this competition was back in 2001 when they lost 4-1 on aggregate to Egyptian powerhouse Al Ahly in the final.
Zwane said: “We have won all the games, we are an ambitious club. We want to go all the way and win this competition.
“That is certainly the goal – to play and win the final. We want to show the whole of Africa that we are the best team. The only thing missing at Sundowns is the Caf star and we will get it this year. If Pirates can do, we can do it too!”
The Brazilians were reinstated in the group stages after Caf disqualified AS Vita of the Democratic Republic of Congo for fielding an ineligible player in the preliminary stages.
Zwane is convinced this second chance means the trophy is destined for their base at Chloorkop.
“I want to see that star on the Downs shirt – badly! We got another chance and we are grateful for that. We can’t lose out on this trophy now.”