Mamelodi Sundowns fancy chances of overturning AFL final score

Mamelodi Sundowns fancy chances of overturning AFL final score

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena says his charges are up for the fight in the African Football League final second leg as they trail 2-1 from the away leg against Wydad Athletic Club.

The two sides meet again on Sunday at Loftus Stadium – a venue at which Wydad pipped Downs to the CAF Champions League final via the away-goal rule following a 2-2 draw in May this year.

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Mokwena may hold the Moroccan giants in high esteem, but believes in his own squad's capability of putting up a strong fight at home. 

"It's a team with the experience of playing these types of games – high-profile games, they come to South Africa, for sure, with the advantage of the scoreline," said Mokwena.

"But we take a lot of confidence from our performances because I think we are the second team in the last – I don't know how many – years to go to Wydad and dominate the ball – we had more ball possession than them and more passes than them.

"So that gives us confidence in our performance that we know we can play better, and we will play better in front of our crowd [at Loftus], but we know how difficult the assignment is and we're looking forward to it."

Meanwhile, Mokwena remained coy regarding the availability of strikers Lucas Ribeiro and Peter Shalulile, who are yet to feature in the AFL.

"It's too early for me to say anything because I've still got another training session [on Saturday], so it's too early to say [if they are ruled out]," commented the coach.

"The medical department is doing such an amazing job, but, of course, players respond differently to the recovery protocols."

Looking for his first continental title, Mokwena adds he’s already given his players clues as to how he expects Wydad to approach the second leg as well as information on how to counter that. 

"Nine times out of 10, when I tell them how the game is going to go, I'm right. So, I'm hoping that this is one of the times that I'm right. I do get them wrong sometimes, but I can't let that out,"  he added.

"The players know how I think the game is going to go from their side and ours, and what we have to do in specific phases of the game and what the signs are that will tell us what is about to happen.

"Hopefully the players understand that, and now it's for them to put out the performance."

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