Absa Premiership

Antlers eye improved showing against Sundowns

Mamelodi Sundowns celebrate after winning the 2015 Nedbank Cup final at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, yesterday. Picture: Luigi Bennett
Mamelodi Sundowns celebrate after winning the 2015 Nedbank Cup final at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, yesterday. Picture: Luigi Bennett

Cape Town - Mamelodi Sundowns' opponents in Sunday's FIFA Club World Cup quarter-finals, Kashima Antlers, have revealed their intention to learn from the mistakes they made in the previous round.

The J1 League champions struggled to defeat Oceania Football Confederation winners Auckland City in the play-offs, although they did eventually manage a 2-1 victory after a late winner from Mu Kanazaki.

However, the nature of the performance against the Navy Blues did not sit well with Kanazaki, who promised better was to come against the Brazilians on the weekend.

He told FIFA.com: "We are the host nation representatives, so we must ensure our performances live up to expectations.

"We won, but if we play like this again next time, we'll definitely lose. We must sharpen up and focus for the next game."

It appears the 27-year-old is a player Pitso Mosimane's men may need to watch out for. The Japan international hit 13 goals and recorded seven assists for Antlers last season.

Sunday's action gets underway at Suita City Football Stadium in Osaka. The winner will face 2016 Copa Libertadores champions Atletico Nacional on 14 December.

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