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Sundowns must respect the legacy of Pitso Mosimane



Pitso Mosimane is renewing his rivalry with longtime friend Mamelodi Sundowns this week, although relations between Masandawana and Al-Ahly head coach are clearly tense these days.

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Mosimane reiterated in an interview with the South African Football Journalists Association last week that he felt a certain Mamelodi Sundowns insider had engineered the treatment he received when he brought Ahly to Tshwane for the quarter-finals of last year’s Café Champions League. .

Supporters surrounded the Ahly bus on its way to Lucas Moripe stadium and insulted Mosimane, while “Jingles” stressed that the insults continued in the tunnel before the game and during the game. It’s strange that someone within Sundowns should be so angered at a coach who won five league titles in seven and a half seasons with Choorklop, as well as two Telkom Knockouts, a Nedbank Cup and the 2016 Café Champions League.

The legacy Mosimane left behind at sunset speaks for itself, how much Rulani Mokwena, Manqoba Mngqithi and
Steve Komphela has subsequently left his own tactical mark on the team as the success continues unabated.
Mosimane, meanwhile, has pressed his own authority on Al-Ahly, the Egyptian giants who hire him for his continental nous, a decision that has already been rewarded with two more Café Champions League titles for the most successful team on the continent.

With Ahly and Sundowns back together for a Champions League meeting, this time in the group stage, it is hoped that the main discussion will be about the quality of the football being played, both in Cairo this weekend, and probably Phokeng for a few weeks later, with Sundowns forced to move to the Royal Bafokeng Stadium to play their Champions League matches.

As much as a good feud produces a good headline, it would certainly be better for all involved if relations were cordial for these group stage events. After all, there is enough on the field to whet the appetite.

These are two sides that have the potential to win the Champions League title at the end of the season. Sundowns have become so dominant domestically that reclaiming the continental crown must be their main ambition.

And with a ridiculous lead at the top of the Eredivisie this season, there’s little to distract them from the prize. As for Ahly, they will want to regain the domestic title they lost to Zamalek last season.

But the stakes are so high among the Cairo giants that failing to win a Champions League title could cost a coach his job.
Ahly, as always, has many players from the Egyptian national team in their ranks, while former Sundowns star Percy Tau adds an extra flavor to the Red Devils-Masandawana encounter, although he will miss Saturday’s first game in Cairo due to injury.

Ahly will be the favourite, due to their continental record and with Mosimane’s coaching credentials, especially at home in Cairo. But if Sundowns can escape the Egyptian capital by at least a point, they’ll definitely have a chance to get a surprise in Phokeng to boost their campaign.

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