Written by on April 5, 2024

Written by: Kamogelo Mogale


Reigning DStv Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns will square off against Tanzanian Premier League champions Young Africans Sports Club in their CAF Champions League 2nd leg quarterfinals match at the Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria on Friday evening. The two sides played out to a goalless stalemate in the 1st leg at the Benjamin Mkapa stadium in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania last week and will look to take the battle on the field in order to secure a spot in the semifinals.

The Brazilians are in a quest of securing their second champions league title while Timu Ya Wananchi are in a verge of creating history for themselves by securing their first star for their 89th anniversary. Speaking to the media in a press conference at Loftus Versfeld stadium on Thursday afternoon, Downs coach Rhulani Mokwena highlighted the important role that the supporters when they take to the field of place.

“The yellow nation must make Loftus Stadium a cathedral, a place of worship and tomorrow they have to worship the team,” said Mokwena.

“And I ask them to play. They must play like they did against Al Ahly in the African Football League last year. We won that game because of our fans and not for any moment during that game were they quiet. The drum kept on beating and beating and beating and I honestly believe that if they come out in their numbers tomorrow, they will fill up the stadium. Make it yellow and make the opposition uncomfortable throughout, Mokwena further explained.

“Even in the moments where we are suffering, they can’t suffer with us. They have got to energise us and give us that extra push and sometimes that is where we have it with Sundowns fans, where when we suffer, they also suffer but they can’t suffer with us tomorrow, they have got to come, energise us, and push us,” Mokwena concluded.

Meanwhile, Young Africans coach Miguel Gamondi also spoke to the media at Loftus Versfeld stadium, citing the importance of the game for Wananchi and the Tanzanian citizens.

“My last game here in South Africa at Loftus stadium, I was the coach of Platinum Stars and we beat Mamelodi 2-1. I have great respect for the country, I have lived well with the people but now I am back with Young Africans and we want to make Tanzanians happy,” said Gamondi.

“We are waiting to see what will happen today in the final training, we can find a player amongst those who were injured. It is true that we are thinking about the CAF semifinals but we are also concerned about the health and safety of our players as well. Young Africans are not playing this tournament alone,” Gamondi explains.

This promises to be a do or die for both teams heading into this encounter. The government of Tanzania has played a role in bringing supporters in the country to flock the stadium in order to rely behind the team.

Kickoff is at 8pm.

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