Pitso Mosimane
THE real Pitso Mosimane might have been missing in action at Lucas Moripe Stadium’s auditorium after Mamelodi Sundowns’ 5-0 demolition of Al Ahly, but the manner in which the Brazilians won that match was vintage “Jingles”.

Mosimane’s reaction, however, was out of character. Instead of thumping his chest and telling everyone in the continent he and Sundowns are the greatest, Mosimane was humble after handing Al Ahly their biggest defeat in the Caf Champions League’s history. The Brazilians’ first win over the eight-time African champions was achieved through Mosimane’s obsessive planning. The 2016 Caf Coach of the Year and his technical team watched eight of Al Ahly’s key matches - their six games in the group stage of the Champions League against AS Vita, JS Saoura and Simba along with their two league matches against Zamalek and Pyramid.

“First, it’s the preparation (that helped us win this game) because we watched eight games of Al Ahly,” Mosimane said. “We tried to squeeze those games into two 15 minutes presentations. The first, before training and the second yesterday (on Friday). It’s preparation that won us this match. It’s not luck. What came out wasn’t luck. Al Ahly probably didn’t know that Sundowns can dig deep and prepare like that because we are a small club.

“I don’t think that they expected this. But above that, it’ the players who played according to the way we play. In Egypt we are going to put more speed, probably Phaka (Mahlambi), Thapelo (Morena) and Lebo (Maboe). We are going to put more speed because they have to score. They’ll try and push us to score five goals. We are going to make it difficult for them.”

Sundowns have one foot in the semi-finals of the Champions League. They’ll head to Suez for the return leg on Saturday confident that by the end of the week they’ll be part of the Champions League’s top four teams. But if there’s one team that can overturn 5-0, it’s Al Ahly who are the undisputed kings of African football.

“This win means a lot to the club and the people,” Mosimane said. “It means a lot also to me. I will emphasize that humility is important at this point in time.

“I know how it feels as a coach to get a score like this and be outplayed.”