It’s easier said than done, but Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi is confident he knows where his side can hurt Al Ahly when the two sides meet for the second leg of their CAF Champions League quarterfinal clash.
The Egyptians were 2-0 winners at the weekend and now Pitso Mosimane’s side carry that advantage ahead of their trip to Tshwane on Saturday.
But Mngqithi was convinced that Ahly will need a different game plan to stop the Brazilians from overturning the deficit.
“The bigger issue is how they approach the game in Pretoria because they would never last long if they played with the same intensity as they played here. They will be forced to play a counter-attacking game,” the Downs coach told the media.
“And I don’t think they are very good defending in and around the box when they are playing too deep in their half, which is what I think made us have a better second half because they did not press us from the top. They retreated and that gave us a bit more latitude to get into the half spaces and behind their midfielder as well as in between the lines. They are not a defensive team, they are normally a good offensive team. If they had to come at us in Pretoria I don’t see them lasting 90 minutes.”
He took positives out of the defeat in Cairo, though Downs now have to score three times without Ahly replying to make it to the semifinals.
“Like I expected, it was always going to be a difficult game. I believe we played very well, but very unfortunate not to score. I have never seen a team come to Egypt and dominate Al Ahly in possession,” said Mngqithi.
“And to see Ahly play counter attacking football was also very interesting for me. But this was the first half, the second half is in Johannesburg (sic). We started the game very well, kept it very well, played very good in half spaces, forced them to be on the backfoot – but unfortunately we did not take the chances that we got. We hit the upright first and missed another header from a corner kick. The second half was also good, we should have benefited. But we did not create as many chances as we did in the first.”
Story by @superjourno
Scroll through to see Downs in action against Al Ahly...