Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane will eagerly await today’s CAF Champions League draw when he knows he will be up against a team from North Africa, having had success against from that part of the continent this season.
Sundowns breezed into the quarterfinals as top seeds in theor Group C, having taken four points off Moroccan side Wydad Casdablanca and six from Algerians USM Alger.
The way the draw is structured means he cannot face Wydad again in the next round, meaning his opponents will be one of the other runners-up in the pool – namely Egyptian duo Zamalek or al Ahly, or Raja Casablanca from Morocco.
Mosimane says he has worked out a plan for North African teams, and hopes to put that into practice in the Champions League knockout stages, with six of the remaining eight teams from that region.
“The only way you should play against the North Africans, you must have the passing patterns right because they don’t like to chase the ball,” Mosimane told reporters.
“At home, people are generally happy to stay and wait to catch you on one or two counter-attacks and beat you on that, you know the story.
“But the North Africans, Wydad Casablanca, they dominate. Al Ahly dominate, Esperance dominate. So don’t give them the ball and have the triangles right and let them run.”
He says the aim is to frustrate north African teams as much as possible.
“It’s hot. Then you start seeing them fighting among each other, then you know you got it [correct].
“But if you want to compete with them, you won’t win. If you take the ball up there, they are strong aerially.
“That’s why those teams that play with long-balls and crosses, with North Africans they take it. So you have to change the mode when you play against them.” – Mzansi Football