PSL / 2 December 2019, 3:00pm / Bonginkosi Ndadane
JOHANNESBURG – Pitso Mosimane has praised the South African domestic league, describing it as one of the top four leagues on the continent.
The African Coach of the Year watched his team scrape through against 15th-placed AmaZulu on Tuesday to register a 1-0 Absa Premiership win, but four days later Sundowns cruised to a 3-0 win over 15-time Angolan champions Petro de Luanda.
The Angolans were full of praise for Sundowns and the local league, a complement that Mosimane took and expanded on.
“I have always told you that don’t undermine the PSL (Premier Soccer League),” Mosimane said.
“We played AmaZulu and we didn’t find this free flow. The PSL is stronger, especially in terms of defensive organisation. We sweat to go through, and hence there aren’t too many goals.
“The PSL is stronger than the Angolan league, that one I will agree with. I think that we are amongst the top three or four in Africa.
“The Tunisian league is strong, so are the Moroccan and Egyptian leagues, and don’t take the Algerian league for granted. I think that we are part of the top four leagues in the continent because if you go to DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo), it’s (AS) Vita and (TP) Mazembe who are having their own party there.”
The 3-0 win over the Angolans puts Sundowns in pole position in Group C after the opening round of matches. Wydad Casablanca’s late goal saw them steal a point in Algeria against USM Alger.
The Brazilians will visit the Moroccans on Saturday in their second match of the group stage. The club will leave today for Casablanca. They will get there tomorrow and have training sessions on Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday they will train at the match venue and then take on their rivals the following day.
The Brazilians will be very direct in that match in search of their first win against Wydad in Morocco. The two teams have met every year since 2017 and Wydad have had the upper hand against Sundowns in most of those matches, winning all the clashes that matter.
But this time around Sundowns will land in Morocco with a firing and lanky No 9 in Mauricio Affonso, who has brought a different dimension to the team’s attack. The Uruguayan opened the flood gates against the Angolan side.
“What you see is what you get from Mauricio, don’t look for more,” Mosimane said.
“We brought him here for that role. He is never going to be a Gaston (Sirino) or Themba Zwane, he isn’t that type of player.
“It was the same when we brought JB (Jeremy Brockie) here, we brought him to score goals. Mauricio is ready, he isn’t bad when you look at the number of games he has played and the goals he has scored. He is a Champions League player.
“I know that you want more fluidity, a little bit of back heels. No! When you go to Casablanca, there is no space. People like Gaston and Pitso (Sphelele Mkhulise), there is less space for them. So he will do the battle there for us.”