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CAF Champions League Mamelodi Sundowns Young Africans

Mokwena: We Have To Find Holes Against Yanga

  • April 5, 2024
  • 3 min read
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Mokwena: We Have To Find Holes Against Yanga

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena says they’ll have to “find holes” in what will be a reinforced defense of Young Africa in the second leg of the CAF Champions League of the quarter-finals.  

Sundowns, who will host the Tanzanian side at Loftus Stadium on Friday night (20:00), came back with a goalless draw in the first leg last weekend against a team known as Yanga.  

Yanga, having blanked Sundowns, needs a score draw to go through to the semifinals, while Sundowns will need to win the game outright to book their last four places.  

Mokwena’s side were in this position before last season but crashed out after drawing 2-2 with Wydad Casablanca of Morocco in Pretoria in the second leg.  

That proved to be their undoing in going out of the competition and such will not be expected from them especially Yanga, who are not at the same competitive level as of Moroccan giants. 

 “We must find holes, but it’s not easy against a reinforced defensive block,” admitted Mokwena at the press conference on Thursday. 

“It’s becoming a theme now – with deep-lying blocks, very limited space in between the lines, very limited space behind.”  

But kingpin Themba Zwane is back, Sundowns are sure they will find spaces behind because the veteran attacker excels in those areas.    

Zwane, who is not only important for Sundowns but also Bafana Bafana, missed the first leg in Tanzania as he was suspended following an accumulation of yellow cards.  

That is not good news for Yanga because they will be tested to an extreme level, especially at Loftus Stadium where Sundowns normally find a way even if the teams make holes narrow.  

“You watched these games and even on Wednesday I watched Orlando Pirates – Moroka Swallows, one was trying to make a game out of it, and the other was sitting off,” added Mokwena.  

“Our game against Richards Bay, it was the same sort of pictures. Fortunately, Yanga has moments where they will look to try and play from the back, and they have good defenders in Dickson Job to play a little bit from the back, it is the same with Ibrahim Hamad.  

“Of course, when Khalid Aucho plays you know he links up the play in the midfield and plays very well, and up front, they have got some very good players with speed like (Kennedy) Musonda who cut from the left-hand side as an inverted striker close to (Clement) Mzize.  

“But the (my) players understand the details, and these are the type of games that are won on details.”  

Yanga coach Miguel Gamondi will be at the place that is familiar to him as he won the league title with Sundowns in the 2005/06 season when he was a co-coach with Neil Tovey.  

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Robin-Duke Madlala

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