Caf Champions League: Mamelodi Sundowns’ job is not done against Cote d’Or – Masilela

The retired Masandawana winger has called on the squad to remain hungry and treat the second leg as a new ball game

As Mamelodi Sundowns prepare to welcome Cote d’Or of Seychelles in their Caf Champions League first-round second-leg match on Friday, Joel Masilela has urged the hosts to respect their opponents.

Despite the fact that the Brazilians registered a 5-0 victory in the first leg match away from home, ‘Fire’ demands the same discipline, hunger, and respect for the Island side because a football match is only decided after 90 minutes.

“In football, we don’t say it’s done and dusted, that is the reality. We need to be realistic in football. Let’s talk football and respect the opponent,” Masilela told Goal.

“Football people all over the world will agree with me that a game of football is decided after 90 minutes and that is what Sundowns need to do against this team.

“A 5-0 win is a big score and convincing but in football, you never win until you win it after the final whistle. I beg to differ here, it’s not done but we need to treat it as a new ball game and the final whistle will tell us it’s done and dusted.

“The target is the group stages and that means the job is not done yet. We have a long way to go and it will be tougher as the tournament progress. My point is that the game is Seychelles is a thing of the past and we need to finish it on Friday.”

Speaking about the approach for the home clash where the Brazilians will seal their passage to the group stage if they secure a goalless draw, the former Premier Soccer League (PSL) champion wants more goals at Lucas Moripe Stadium.

“My advice is to stick with the same game plan and the attitude as well as the discipline should be correct,” continued the legend.

“We need to keep it clean at the back and find more goals. As a coach, I’d tell the guys to go and enjoy themselves, but to enjoy themselves we will need goals. I wouldn’t want them to enjoy themselves with a goalless draw.

“There’s a saying that the net is never full, that’s what I would want to see from the boys. It was a big win in the first leg but we can never predict the score for this one.

“It’s nice to look back and say we scored five but we can’t rely on that because respecting an opponent is always important in football. We say goals are always guaranteed at home for Sundowns, but you may be surprised to see the match ending at 0-0 because that team will want to learn and improve.”

On the possibility of missing ‘Shuga’ who was stretchered off against Maritzburg United in the PSL game last weekend, the 49-year-old former midfielder is confident Mosimane will not struggle to find a perfect replacement.

“Mabunda is a good leader and there’s no doubt about that. He can play and brings vast experience in the squad, but you know Pitso has depth in the team,” he noted.

“Whoever is there must fill up the void and ensure the game is won. He’s got quality, experience and whoever comes in will have to do the job, Sundowns is not a one man team.

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“You’ll remember Hlompho (Kekana) was suspended in the other match and they still won the game. These are the African champions, it’s nothing new to the coach and the players.

“Pitso will play his cards and he is very smart. There are many players to choose from, Andile Jali, Lucky Mohomi, Rivaldo Coetzee are all there and the supporters will be there.

“It’s going to be packed and I just hope the weather will be good unlike what we’ve seen in the past few days. The most important support is not from the technical team or the management but from the stands – it will be yellow on Friday,” he concluded.