Premiership champions, Mamelodi Sundowns won their Caf Champions League group stage match against Algerian side CR Belouizdad 5-1 in a neutral venue, Dar es Salaam but it was the conduct of the Tanzanians that left Manqoba Mngqithi really impressed.
The Sundowns co-coach says they were well received by the Tanzanian officials upon their arrival in the county that enjoys good international relations – ties with South Africa.
“We must thank the hospitality you gave us in Tanzania. We really appreciate everything. Your level of humanity, your level of kindness was seen by all and sundry,” said Mngqithi.
The rescheduled game was played at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium as the fixture had to be postponed last week due to the Algerian authorities denying Sundowns entry into the North African nation‚ as a result of medical restrictions related to Covid-19.
“We all really appreciate it. At Sundowns we feel at home here with the history attached to Tanzania and South Africa and our freedom. We really felt at home and welcomed in your environment and we want to thank you for that,” he added.
The 5-1 thrashing of Belouizdad was the biggest ever away victory for a South African side in the Caf Champions League group stages. “One appreciates the fact that we got the biggest scoreline away from home,” noted the Sundowns coach.
“And one appreciates the kind of football the players played, the effort they put, the teamwork they showed, the high work ethic, it was only a good win of the scoreline, but the performance as well was very good.”
Mngqithi’s troops lead Group B with two wins out of two games, while their next opponents on Saturday TP Mazembe are second after registering a pair of draws.
Trips to DR Congo are notorious for the poor hospitality and Spartan conditions imposed on visiting sides and Sundowns are expected to travel to Lubumbashi this week for a tough clash with Mazembe.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi