Al Hilal coach: Sundowns play like the big teams in England

Al Hilal coach: Sundowns play like the big teams in England
Keletso Makgalwa of Mamelodi Sundowns on the attack as Mohamed Saeed Ahmed of Al Hilal Omdurman chases during the 2021 CAF Champions League football match between Al Hilal Omdurman and Mamelodi Sundowns

by Graeme Jackson

Monday Apr 05, 2021. 12:00

Al Hilal coach Ricardo Formosinho has praised Mamelodi Sundowns’ style of play after the teams drew 0-0 in their CAF Champions League group stage clash this past weekend.

The Sudanese and South African giants played to a goalless stalemate in Omdurman on the afternoon of Friday 2 April, after which ‘Downs co-coach Rulani Mokwena praised the effect that Formosinho – a former assistant to Jose Mourinho – has had at Hilal since taking charge last month.

“First‚ let us also give huge congratulations to coach Ricardo and his team. It’s fantastic that Africa can recruit coaches of his calibre‚ with his technical staff‚” Mokwena said in the post-match press conference, as quoted by Sowetan Live.

“[They have] huge experience. A lot of quality and working at the highest level. So we knew‚ watching videos and getting data that the team had improved a lot within the few weeks.”

Mokena added, “And once more congratulations to coach Ricardo and his technical staff – huge improvement from what we played against before [Sundowns beat Hilal 2-0 at home in February].”

Formosinho returned Mokwena’s praise‚ highlighting the Brazilians’ technical and tactical flexibility.

“Congratulations because you play your team like the big teams in England‚” he said‚ addressing Mokwena.

“Your movement‚ your wingers coming inside‚ your strikers from behind – congratulations‚ perfect. Like Tottenham‚ like Liverpool [were] before. Your team plays like the big teams in England.

“It’s the movement like the big teams‚ like Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho. You can see‚ the striker comes back and opens the space.”

The teams will wrap up their group stage campaigns in the CAFCL this coming Friday, April 2, with Sundowns at home to Algeria’s CR Belouizdad and Hilal visiting DR Congo’s TP Mazembe.


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