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Wydad Casablanca v Mamelodi Sundowns

Playing for a draw against Wydad Casablanca won't help Mamelodi Sundowns - Joel Masilela

11:58 GMT+3 24/04/2019
Mamelodi Sundowns v Al Ahly, April 2019
The Masandawana legend is confident that the current generation will be able to cope with the hostile environment in Morocco

Mamelodi Sundowns legend Joel Masilela says the Brazilians must not look for a draw in Morocco as they face off against Wydad Casablanca in the Caf Champions League semi-final. 

Sundowns are facing a tight schedule and buoyed on by their recent Premier Soccer League (PSL) win over Chippa United which saw them move level on points with log leaders Orlando Pirates, they now shift focus onto their continental obligations. 

“Well, it was one of those tough games in the league especially at this time of the season. I was expecting that, and we knew the boys will bounce back from the loss against SuperSport United [With the recent win over Baroka],” Masilela told Goal.

“I think today’s game (Tuesday) was very tricky because there was tension. You know it’s tough when you play against Chippa and Baroka because these are the teams that are desperate of the points as they want to survive relegation,” he said.

“They spend life on the road these days because Sundowns is ambitious, the boys are fighting to keep the standard and dignity of the club. Yes, the fixtures are congested but there's no complaint at all, the boys just want to keep playing,” he said regarding Sundowns' schedule.

With games coming in thick and fast, Sundowns' depth will be key in their battle for victory on two fronts. 

“I am happy to see Vila (Sibusiso Vilakazi) coming back to his best. I can see the boys played well, we can mention Mshishi (Themba Zwane), (Tiyani) Mabunda and (Gaston) Sirino – they give us the edge,” added the former winger.

“It is taxing, but it is worth it and it will be war, another hostile environment in Morocco. I cannot say a draw will be okay, but I can say it’s all about maintaining the attitude they displayed in the previous round,” admitted ‘Fire’.

“The boys must be professional, maintain the reputation as we are regarded as one of the best teams in Africa and I can tell you people expect good results at Sundowns,” he responded.

“It’s become a norm, culture to win and produce results whenever the club plays and it’s a fact that so many clubs do fear us. We are used to winning trophies and we are not scared. I believe they will do well in Morocco, but it won’t be easy,” said the retired midfielder.

The first leg of the semi-finals will be staged at on Friday night at Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium and the former Bafana Bafana international reckons Sundowns must keep it tight at the back.

“I cannot say it’s an advantage to play the first leg away because anything can happen in football. What if they score five goals like we did to Al Ahly? It’s fair to say both teams have an advantage,” he continued.

“Once you are in the semi-finals it’s anybody’s game and I can tell you if we get a win we will be at a good advantage to win it, Sundowns must score and try to win,” he backed.

“I don’t think playing for a draw will help us, I usually say football is a funny game. Look, we can’t go with a plan to draw and hope to win it here at home because we might struggle even here at home - that is football, you cannot have guarantees,” he asserted.

“At this stage, I think it depends on hunger, whoever wants it will win it no matter where the game is played,” concluded the legend.