Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has suggested it would not be wise to use their 5-0 drubbing of Al Ahly two years ago as a reference point given Pitso Mosimane is now in the opposition dugout.
Then Downs coach, Mosimane coordinated an emphatic, as well as embarrassing, win over the Egyptian giants in the first leg of their CAF Champions League quarterfinal clash at Lucas Moripe Stadium back in April 2019.
Mngqithi was his assistant, but took over when ‘Jingles’ moved on to Ahly in October last year – and now the two have come face to face at the same stage of the premium club competition and the same venue his new club were demolished.
But Ahly carry a 2-0 advantage after winning the first leg last weekend, so it was natural that Mngqithi was asked about that memorable win two years ago.
“There’s been a lot of changes from the team that was on the pitch for Al Ahly in comparison to the team we played against then. The coaching department of our team has changed – they are using one of our coaches that was leading us before,” he told the media.
“So that reference point really does not have much because it gives them a little bit of an advantage because they’ve got a coach who knows what happened and who knows how we orchestrated that success. But we have a very good technical team at the moment – and a lot of players that participated in that match, with some additions that have come in handy to help the team this season. We don’t want to use those reference points.”
Mngqithi argued he’s seen enough during their campaign up to the quarterfinals that Downs are capable of overturning the deficit.
“The references we have are what has happened for us this season in all aspects of our game, which have taken us to where we are, like the number of goals we have scored in the Champions League this year,” he explained.
“That is a very good building block to make us believe we’ve got what it takes to win this game on Saturday. We aren’t saying this out of being oblivious to the realities of the match, but we are looking at what we have and done. We are saying if there’s anyone who’s got capacity to do this, it has to be Sundowns.”
Downs also expect talisman Themba Zwane to be fit for Saturday’s crucial clash.