Wednesday Feb 23, 2022. 14:00
Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena insists it would be a mistake to focus all their energy on Al Ahly in the CAF Champions League group stages.
The Brazilians lead Group A on four points after beating Al Hilal 1-0 at home on matchday one and holding Al Merrikh to a goalless draw on their travels on matchday two.
Masandawana are preparing to take on the defending champions in Cairo on Saturday in the away leg, having lost to Pitso Mosimane’s side in the quarter-finals last season.
However, Mokwena has warned that ignoring the Sudanese duo of Al Hilal and Al Merrikh would be detrimental to their chances of advancing to the knockout stages this year.
“We’re completely aware it’s a very difficult group. We can never make that mistake of focusing all our attention on Al Ahly,” he was quoted as saying by SowetanLIVE.
“It’s a group where 12 points put you in a position to qualify as No 1. But the reality also is Al Ahly only offer you six points, and then you’ve got to fight for the other points from Al-Hilal and Al-Merrikh.
“You’ve got to give them the same respect in preparation and detail as you would Al Ahly. In fact, the other games against Merrikh and Hilal are probably more important.
“Everyone was disappointed when we only beat Al-Hilal 1-0. But when you see Al Ahly drew against Hilal, you realise how important it was to win that match.
“We cannot be sidetracked by playing the name and not the matches. We’ve got certain objectives and we know the first is to qualify from the group.”