Mamelodi Sundowns depart for Algeria tonight (Monday, 17 April 2023) ahead of the CAF Champions League Quarterfinal match against CR Belouizdad. Head Coach, Rulani Mokwena, reacted to the away fixture and relayed his feelings upon travelling for the highly anticipated continental competition.
Following their stellar finish at the top of Group B in the group stages with fourteen points, the Brazilians will participate in a two-legged fixture which will see CR Belouizdad host Mamelodi Sundowns in Algeria for the first leg this weekend, and Sundowns hosting the second leg a week later at Chloorkop.
“. We know that going to Algeria will be something difficult for us, particularly with the travelling and trying to map our way between the domestic fixtures., said Bafana Ba Style Mentor as reacted to the draw and the travel preparations.
Coming from a tough encounter and bowing out of the Nedbank Cup, Bafana Ba Style will be going into the Champions League with a winning mentality. The squad anticipates battling for maximum points which will better their chances of booking a spot in the semi-finals.
Departing early for their crucial knockout fixture, the team is looking to have enough time to acclimatize to the climate in the Eastern Hemisphere. Upon arrival in Algeria, they will settle in and begin with preparations and training sessions for the Saturday evening match immediately.
Coach Rulani shared his thoughts on the opponents and said, “It’s a draw that we accept with a lot of humility, but also with a clear understanding that it’s going to be difficult. Belouizdad is a very good side even though they finished second in their group with 10 points. They have had a good campaign in the Champions League, and in their domestic league where they sit in the first position. They are a very interesting side with impressive tactical formations and structures with good players and play a similar 4-3-3 and 4-2-2” ”
After successfully surpassing their target of collecting 10 points in the group stages and qualifying for the next round, the 2016 CAF Champions League Champions are well on their quest to secure the second star and silverware.
Mamelodi Sundowns will go head-to-head with CR Belouizdad on Saturday, 22 April 2022. The match is set to take place at the Stade Nelson Mandela Stadium and will kick off at 21h00 (CAT).