Tuesday Oct 26, 2021. 10:00
Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has boldly claimed that the team can win all of the trophies on offer this season.
The South African side, which is top of the domestic DStv Premiership and will play in the final of the MTN8 this coming weekend, ensured their African commitments will continue into 2022 when they secured a place in the CAF Champions League group stage this past weekend.
Sundowns beat DR Congo’s AS Maniema Union 2-0 (4-2 on aggregate) on Sunday to progress into the group stage for a seventh successive season.
The Brazilians won the CAFCL for the first time in 2016 and Mngqithi believes that a second is on the way this season, with the club hoping to improve on semifinal (2019) and quarterfinal (2020 &2021) appearances in the past three editions of the continental competition.
“The group that we have this year has been reinforced a little bit from what we had last year,” said Mngqithi, as quoted by IOL.
“We are very hopeful that they [the Sundowns squad] can win the Champions League.
“We have got to take each step and each game as it comes, and then see how we end up.
“We are very confident that with this group we could lift any trophy that is on offer. We have to take every game and give it the seriousness and attention that it deserves.”
Sundowns’ local rivals AmaZulu also qualified to play in the Champions League group stage for the first time, with Benni McCarthy’s side elminiating DR Congo heavyweights TP Mazembe on away goals.
Mngqithi said the time has come for South African club owners to put their faith in local coaches: “I think we need to congratulate our coaches when they are doing well,” he explained.
“I think there is a significant improvement in the game as a result of the input of our South African coaches.
“One will wish South African club owners will start looking around locally before they go out searching for imports abroad.
“I believe there are so many coaches in our country that are jobless at the moment. Some are working with smaller teams, but they only need an opportunity at the highest level.
“Even in the (PSL) league, coaches are showing how many South Africans have been performing well in that space as we speak.”
Sundowns will look to win the MTN8 for the first time since 2007 when they face Cape Town City in the final in Durban on Saturday 30 October.