CAF Champions League: Al Ahly know Mamelodi Sundowns are a threat - Rulani Mokwena

CAF Champions League: Al Ahly know Mamelodi Sundowns are a threat - Rulani Mokwena

After 12 previous meetings between Mamelodi Sundowns and Al Ahly, the two sides are an open book to each other, according to coach Rulani Mokwena.

Mokwena is optimistic that victory in Cairo tomorrow night will edge his side closer to the quarterfinals of the CAF Champions League. 

Sundowns face a wounded side that’s yet to win in Group B, but Mokwena, whose side have managed six points from two matches, isn’t taking Ahly lightly. 

"Al Ahly are a very good side, but they know that Sundowns are also a very good side. So, the way we speak about them as an opponent is probably the same way they speak about Mamelodi Sundowns as an opponent," Mokwena said.

"As a team that's difficult to beat, as a team that's got very good players, as a team that's well coached and has very well organised.

"I can tell you that they're a team that has some very good technical players who play in positions where you need important players to decide the result.

"Abdel Kader, [Mohamed} Sherif, [Mohamed Magdy] Afsha, Percy [Tau], Abdelmonem at centre-back – important for them with regards to set-pieces, [Abdou] Dieng in the midfield, their aggressivity and the energy he gives to the team..."

Sundowns were drawn alongside Ahly in the group stages last season, beating them 1-0 in each of the two legs, and Mokwena says The Brazilians will have to step it up a gear yet again this time around.

"We beat them home and away, they know, so they will come with a lot of respect for us, just as much as we've got respect for them," he added.

"And what happened in the past has very little bearing on games like this – a big game with big players, and important for both clubs and sets of players.

"An incredible pitch will be available, an amazing atmosphere will be created, so the best players enjoy those types of games. We know we've got to give our best against a very good team to give ourselves a chance to win."