It’s match day five in the CAF Champions League group stages and Mamelodi Sundowns are gearing up to take on Al Hilal of Sudan on Good Friday.
The Brazilians head into the game at the Al Hilal Stadium on Omdurman having already qualified for the quarterfinals.
Sundowns have won all their four group matches so far.
“We are happy to play an important match with a great side that has so much history, success and prestige. We are looking forward to having a good clash against this good side,” said co-coach Rhulani Mokwena.
The South African champions defeated Al Hilal 2-0 in the first leg in Pretoria in February, courtesy of goals from Mosa Lebusa and Kermit Erasmus.
The encounter on Friday takes place less than a week after a Bafana Bafana squad with seven Sundowns players lost 2-0 to Sudan in an Afcon qualifier at the same venue, ending South Africa’s hope of playing in the finals in Cameroon next year.
But Mokwena maintained that Sundowns were not necessarily out to seek revenge on their Champions League opponents Al Hilal but “have an indirect responsibility to carry the hopes of our country”.
Al Hilal accounts for the most players in the Sudanese national team.
“The unfortunate results of our national team has nothing to do with Sundowns, but being South Africans our egos are bruised. The happiness index in our country is affected.
“We have an indirect responsibility to carry the hopes of our country but we are not driven by that. This being our last away game, we want to get to the knock-out stages with the winning feeling.”
Sundowns are currently on a 26-match unbeaten run – record for the all-conquering team.
The game against Al Hilal kicks off at 3pm South African time.
Group B log