Rulani Mokwena not taking successful Young Africans lightly

Rulani Mokwena not taking successful Young Africans lightly

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena says they will not take Young Africans for granted in their CAF Champions League quarter-final first leg clash on Saturday night.

Sundowns are looking to make it past Tanzania’s most successful club in order to reach the semi-finals of the premier continental club championship for a second successive season.

The hosts come into this fixture as underdogs, but Mokwena warns their rich history will make them a difficult opponent. 

"We know we have to play against the most successful team in the history of Tanzanian football – with 39 titles; we also know they're playing their first quarter-final, I think, in the CAF Champions League since 1970 – but, of course, their third quarter-final in their history," said Mokwena.

"We know what this means to the Tanzanian people, we know what it means to the club, and we are ready for what will be a very difficult match for sure."

The Brazilians remain one of the favourites in the Champions League this season, especially on the back of being crowned the inaugural AFL champions last year. 

Mokwena insists they are not resting on their laurels. 

"You're only as good as your last performance, and if we rest too much on our laurels and we expect experience to play, we'll be in big trouble," he added.

"So we have to go into the game and rely on our abilities and play football, and understand how difficult it's going to be, but also trust in our abilities.

"We know we're a good team, we've got a lot of good players, and we work very hard in our preparation, which, of course, is probably the most important thing."

Catch the CAF Champions League quarter-final first leg between Young Africans and Mamelodi Sundowns LIVE on SABC 1, SABC Sport and SABC + at 20:00.

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