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CAF Champions League

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Mngqithi on Al Ahly: We are a better team football-wise

10:18 SAST 2021/05/18
Manqoba Mngqithi
The Brazilians need to score at least two goals in order to give themselves a chance of reaching the semi-finals at the nine-time champion's expense

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi hopes that the high altitude in Pretoria will make it harder for Al Ahly to defend against his team in Saturday's Caf Champions League second leg quarter-final match.

Following last weekend's 2-0 defeat in Cairo, Mngqithi is optimistic that home ground advantage, and playing at high altitude at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Tshwane, will assist his side.

“The bigger issue is how they approach the game in Pretoria because they will never last very long if they play with the same intensity they played in Egypt, they will be forced to play a counter-attacking game," Mngqithi said, as quoted by the Citizen.

“I don’t think they are good defensively when they are playing far too deep in their half, which is what made us play better in the second half.

"They did not press us from the top, they retreated and that gave us more latitude to get behind their midfield and also to play between the lines.

“It is true, he [Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane] knows Sundowns well, he knows the field [Loftus Versfeld] but it is an altitude issue," Mngqithi elaborated.

"I’ve never seen a team going to Egypt to dominate Al Ahly and to see them playing a counter-attacking football at home was interesting but that was the first half, the second half is in Pretoria.

Despite being 2-0 down in the tie, the Masandawana co-coach thinks his team played better football than their illustrious Egyptian opponents last week.

“In terms of the ball possession and what could happen in the second-leg, I will give Sundowns 60% and Al Ahly 40%. We are a team that is capable of scoring a lot of goals," he said.

"I’ve got a lot of respect for Al Ahly, they have got a lot of talented players, they showed their quality and they were very clinical but I still believe we are a better team football-wise but we lost the match.”