Mokwena expects difficulties in the CAF Champions League

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena celebrates victory with Cassius Mailula during the DStv Premiership 2022/23 football match between Royal AM and Sundowns at Chatsworth Stadium, Durban on 29 October 2022 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Rulani Mokwena, the coach of Mamelodi Sundowns, has stated that his team will go to the CAF Champions League games with the intention of advancing. Mokwena made the remarks following the CAF Champions League group stage draw earlier this week.

Sundowns have been drawn against Egypt’s Al Ahly, Cameroon’s Coton Sport, and Sudan’s Al Hilal. Sundowns faced Al Ahly and Al Hilal last year and easily defeated them.

Sundowns have been drawn with strong teams, according to Mokwena, but this is nothing new because they will continue on their current path.

The DStv Premiership champions were eliminated by an Angolan team in the CAF Champions League this year, but they are expected to fight tooth and nail when they face Al Ahly, whom they defeated last season under Pitso Mosimane.

“I think we have to admit that there are a lot of tough teams in the Champions League at the stage we are in,” Mokwena said on his club’s website.

“Over the years, the competition between teams has grown in the Champions League. That’s why it’s so difficult to play in the Champions League, regardless of who you’re up against.

“The teams were drawn in the same manner as in 2021. We will travel to Sudan to meet Al Hilal, who have quality players. Then we’ll travel to Cameroon’s Coton Sport.

“The most important thing for us is to try to collect points that will get us to the next round,” said Mokwena, who took over as Sundowns’ head coach following the demotion of Manqoba Mngqithi in recent months.

Meanwhile, Marumo Gallants were drawn in the CAF Confederation Cup alongside Al Akhdar SC, USM Alger, and FC Saint Eloi Lupopo. All games will begin in February of the next year.