Mamelodi Sundowns play their last match of the year away, and they will be hoping to end 2020 off on a positive note in the Caf Champions League.
‘The Brazilians’ concluded the first half of the domestic season at the summit of the DStv Premiership table with an unbeaten record of five wins and three draws and will now turn their attention to the Champions League where they face Botswana side Jwaneng Galaxy in the first leg, first round of the qualifiers this afternoon at the Lobatse Stadium (15:30).
This will be Sundowns’ first game in the 2020/21 Champions League season after receiving a bye in the preliminary round. Co-coach Rulani Mokwena has emphasised the importance of ensuring that the team is in a fresh state emotionally, mentally, and physically, well aware that Galaxy won’t be pushovers.
“Emotionally we are not in the right sort of space at peak condition but physically I think that has been our focus since our last game against Golden Arrows,” said Mokwena.
“There’s a short turn over, with a lot of traveling in between from Gauteng to Durban and back to Gauteng and now having to travel to Gaborone and play Caf Champions League at a very awkward time.
“Normally from a mental perspective a lot of people are already on holiday with the festive season, so you’ve got to try to tick a little bit off the boxes to make sure that emotionally we are just at the right level to be competitive and to get the good results away from home which is very important.
“Once you come back from an away fixture, that takes a lot out of us, physically you want to now recover, regenerate and get rid of all the waste products and get the team to be able to compete for the next match. He added it is important to travel to Gaborone and get a good result.
— Mamelodi Sundowns FC (@Masandawana) December 22, 2020
“We have to make sure that we are one step closer to being in the group stages and making sure we complete the year off on a very good way. We’ve tried to tick all the boxes in terms of factors of performance and we feel we are ready to go and compete and get a very good result away from home,” concluded Mokwena.
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all pictures courtesy of Mamelodi Sundowns