What lessons Mamelodi Sundowns can take from the 2016 Caf Champions League semi-finals?

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The last time Masandawana reached the Caf Champions League semi-finals was back in 2016 where they met Zesco United

  1. Backpagepix

    #1 Mamelodi Sundowns seek early advantage

    Mamelodi Sundowns travel to Morocco to take on Wydad Casablanca on Friday. 

    It will undoubtedly be tough for Sundowns to grab the early ascendency as they meet the Moroccans for the third time this season. 

    However, Sundowns are no strangers from being at this stage before as they previously ventured successfully past Zesco United back in 2016. 

    Here are some lessons they can take from their previous last four berth...

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    #2 Downs need to be stingy in Rabat

    Sundowns have minimum room for error.

    In 2016, they lost the first leg away from home but they grabbed an away goal and ensured that they stayed within catching distance of their opponents. 

    This time around, Sundowns need to do the same thing and while a win is not a must, a score draw or even a defeat by a slender margin will hold them in good stead.  

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    #3 Home advantage is key

    Just like Sundowns did against Al Ahly in the quarter-finals and  Zesco in their previous semi-final appearance, they need to back themselves at home. 

    African football is all about making full use of home advantage, so winning is a must. 

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    #4 Downs cannot be overawed

    A hostile atmosphere awaits Sundowns like no other, it's important that they put on a brave face and not let the home crowd get to them.

    Pitso Mosimane's men are experienced on the continent but nothing will prepare them for a baptism of fire.

    Having a player like Gaston Sirino who isn't scared to put his foot on the ball could frustrate the crowd but instil confidence in his fellow players.  

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    #5 The Tshwane giants need to count on experience

    At such an advanced stage in the tournament, the experience might be the difference between success and defeat.

    The core of the current crop of Sundowns' players were there the last time they were in the semi-finals which could inspire the team to win.

    Players such as Wayne Arendse, Hlompho Kekana, Tiyani Mabunda and Themba Zwane among others have a major role to play.