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Mamelodi Sundowns need to be mentally strong against Al Ahly – Mosimane

The Downs coach has hailed his side for mastering the art of containing North African teams away

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane says his side has vastly improved in their Caf Champions League visits to North Africa, and outlined their plan to limit conceding goals by “absorbing pressure” during Saturday’s quarter-final, first leg clash against Al Ahly.

The Brazilians are in Cairo as they push for a result that will make work easier for them in the return leg in Pretoria seven days later.

Mosimane and his men arrived in Cairo boasting of an encouraging record of having not conceded in their two visits to North Africa this season.

“If you concede, don’t concede more than one. That’s the whole thing,” said Mosimane as per IOL.

“As much as we haven’t been good travellers in the Champions League, this year we have improved. We got a draw in [Morocco against] Wydad Casablanca, and we always lose there.

“We got a win in USM Alger [away in Algeria] and Wydad lost there. It’s not easy in Algeria. This year we have improved with our results. It’s a tough game, it’s going to be physical and you need to be smart with the fouls.”

Sundowns are in once-feared territory but Mosimane appears relaxed at the prospect of facing the eight-time champions, who edged them 1-0 in Alexandria at this stage of the competition last season.

This was after Sundowns had clobbered Al Ahly 5-0 in the first leg at home.

The art of containing relentless assaults in abroad appears to be what Mosimane has mastered as he intends to employ that approach on Saturday.

“We need to absorb the pressure,” Mosimane said.

“We need to be mentally strong. We need to be well-organised. It’s a game where the body plays more than the technique. It’s the body, tactics and the mind because there will be too much noise.”

Al Ahly will be seeking revenge after being embarrassed by Sundowns last season.

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