Pitso Mosimane admits his team will have to dig deep to get a draw against Al-Ahly Benghazi on Sunday. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
JOHANNESBURG 
 Due to the limited knowledge that they have accumulated about their Caf Champions League opponents Al- Ahly Benghazi, Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane anticipates a tough clash when the two teams meet at the Petro Sport Stadium on Sunday.

Following political unrest in Libya, Al-Ahly Benghazi, are forced to play their continental home matches in Egypt.

“It’s difficult because we can’t get footage because the team has to be on television and they are not,” Mosimane said. “We sent our analyst to help us there and he got us some footage  a little bit  with the way that we always get it. We’ve got a sense of direction on what kind of team they are, because north African teams have the same culture of football; European influence and good technique. They are well organised and with rigid structure. If we don’t score and concede (there), we can sort it out here because our play always gives them a tough time  because they don’t like people that dribble.”

Benghazi’s 3-2 aggregate win over FC Nouadhibou in the preliminary round of the Champions League marked their first return to competitive football since the postponement of their league fixtures in August. On the other hand, Mosimane and his troops have already juggled continental football with the PSL and two domestic Cup competitions.

“They are in a good position because they are in camp,” Mosimane said. “They are stronger than us and that’s why they do well and win. We’ll take the trip to Cairo, but it won’t be easy because we have to go through Dubai. But that comes with the Champions League and lot of games.”

In their first leg’s preliminary round 2-0 win over Equatorial Guinea’s Leones Vegatarianos, Sundowns needed the inspiration of Rivaldo Coetzee and Themba Zwane. However, the duo are set to miss the first round match in Cairo due to injury. The duo were absent during the midweek goalless draw against Baroka in the league. Mosimane is aware that they have to, at least, deep dig for a draw in Egypt.

“I think we’ve played about three games in seven days, that’s why you have muscle injuries on players such as Mshishi (Themba Zwane), and Ricardo (Nascimento), who’s not yet back. But it’s part of playing in the Champions League and you can’t complain,” he said. “To win Champions League is a big deal, so you need to dig deeper and play; you are on the flight and must come back and play, but it’s good and there’s nothing wrong.”

The two-legged qualifying round tie between the South African and Libyan clubs will also some what serve as a dress rehearsal for the national teams’ clash in the final round of Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in March.

@Mihlalibaleka


The Star

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