Sundowns vs Yanga: Mokwena Relying on Experience Ahead of CAF Champions League Showdown

Sundowns vs Yanga: Mokwena Relying on Experience Ahead of CAF Champions League Showdown

Robert Abong'o
updated at April 5, 2024 at 7:24 AM
In this article:
CAF Champions League logo
CAF Champions League
Mamelodi Sundowns logo
Mamelodi Sundowns
South Africa
Young Africans logo
Young Africans
  • Rulani Mokwena is banking on his team's experience to beat Young Africans
  • Mamelodi Sundowns face Yanga in the CAF Champions League quarter-final
  • The Brazilians plan to exploit their opponent's defensive tactics to claim win

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Mamelodi Sundowns are is gearing up for a crucial quarter-final clash against Young Africans, drawing heavily on their extensive Champions League history.

The encounter is set to unfold at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Friday night at 8pm local time, following a goalless first leg in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

Reflecting on their past encounters, coach Rulani Mokwena stressed the importance of learning from their setbacks in previous editions of the tournament.

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach, Rulani Mokwena. Photo: Ayman Aref.
Rulani Mokwena has put belief behind Mamelodi Sundowns' experience to outclass Yanga. Photo: Ayman Aref.
Source: Getty Images

He would be banking on knowledge gained from their semi-final loss to Wydad Casablanca in the previous season's tournament.

Despite the disappointment, Sundowns bounced back to win the Africa Football League (AFL) final after a loss in the first leg to Wydad.

"We have been in this situation before, and hopefully that is the experience we can use. We have been in this situation where we had the first leg 0-0, and we understand what happens," he said, as quoted by Times Live.

Mokwena stressed the need for vigilance, cautioning against complacency, especially when the scoreline remains level. Drawing parallels to previous experiences, he highlighted the significance of understanding the context of each game moment and the potential impact of every goal.

Mokwena confident in Sundowns' adaptability

Yanga's tactical approach, observed during the first leg, involved a defensive stance with swift transitions, a strategy likely to persist in the upcoming match.

Having meticulously analysed their gameplay, Mokwena expressed confidence in his team's readiness to navigate the challenges posed by deep-lying defensive blocks.

The East Africans encountered a frustrating setback upon their arrival in South Africa on April 2, as their bus experienced a breakdown five kilometres away from OR Tambo International Airport.

Arriving in Johannesburg after departing from Dar es Salaam at 7:00am, Yanga had planned a seamless transition to their hotel in Pretoria post-landing.

However, their plans were abruptly interrupted when the Sundowns-provided bus malfunctioned a short distance from the airport, as reported by Far Post.

Yanga president warns Mamelodi Sundowns

Sports Brief also reported on Yanga's chief, Hersi Saidi, stating the Sundowns tie was far from done.

The South African giants dominated possession at a jam-packed Benjamin Mkapa Stadium last week.

The hosts produced several golden opportunities, but Ronwen Williams stood tall between the sticks.

Robert Abong'o photo
Robert Abong'o
Editor - Africa Team