Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi says the Brazilians are very close breaking into the 'top four' after another quarter-final exit in the CAF Champions League.
The Brazilians could only manage a 1-1 draw against Al Ahly on Saturday afternoon, which saw Pitso Mosimane's advance to the semi-finals with a 3-1 aggregate win.
"If you remember we've played Al Ahly now three times in a row, it's proven to be one team we've struggled to go beyond. We managed the first time around and we had Wydad [Casablanca] after that," Mngqithi said at the post-match press conference.
"It's been a little bit tough but it's something we're learning through, we're already in the top eight, very close to the top four but unfortunately in that top eight you meet the potential finalists.
"Because in all these competition, when Wydad took us out, they went on all the way to the final to win it, Al Ahly when they took us out they went all the way to win it, so it tells you that we're competing at a level where now it's about breaking through to the top four.
"And settling in the top four, because we've settled in the top eight but I think it's very good work in progress because we're never really out-played by these teams, we don't create moments maybe to go through but we never really fall short tactically or in terms of personnel.
"But the goals we conceded in Cairo for instance, both our mistakes but again we dominated the space there, come to this match we dominated again. But at times you'd say dominating the game and not winning does not mean anything.
"But in football we're working on XGS, the expected goals, the dominance of the pitch, what do you do when dominating the pitch, what do you do when dominating the ball.
"When we look at this facets, they are telling us that we're very close to breaking through and it's work we must work very hard on and improve where we have to improve in terms of our quality.
"Because the truth of the matter is that we're in the fringes of the top four but we're really finding it hard to get inside probably because of the opponents that we find. We normally find, in the quarter-finals, opponents that normally go all the way to win it."
Check out the action from Down's clash with Al Ahly in the second leg: