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HomeAfrican Football LeagueRulani Responds To Downs' Style Of Play Debate

Rulani Responds To Downs’ Style Of Play Debate

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena has insisted Masandawana will try show the style of play they have become known for but admitted his side needs to be ready to suffer at Wydad Athletic Club in their African Football League final first-leg in Casablanca.

The reigning DStv Premiership champions are two games away from lifting their first African trophy since the 2016 CAF Champions League.

Sundowns will have to dig deep at a sold-out Stade Mohamed V on Sunday evening, something they have done at the same venue last year, but also in the recent semi-final in Cairo against Al Ahly.

In those games, Sundowns were not as free-flowing and dominant as many know them to be, but Mokwena insisted they will always try to stick to their roots.

“We try to be Mamelodi Sundowns. We have to try and impose ourselves and, of course, try to be the Sundowns that we can recognise,” he said.

“Because we are built a certain way as a team, we are built to play a certain way of football.

“But we’ve also shown that we are able to be a team that can absorb pressure and there’s going to be a lot of moments where we’re going to have to suffer. Hopefully, we suffer with 11 players this time when we do not have possession.

“This is one of the things we pride ourselves, we pride ourselves of being Mamelodi Sundowns, a team that has gotten a lot of global recognition for it’s style of play and the tactics that we use.

“But also, we pride ourselves, part of our culture and history is associated with the Brazilians and this is synonymous with our kit colours, and that’s why we try to play a certain way and we believe in the talents and quality of all our players.”

Mokwena, though, also highlighted that Sundowns will have to be ready for a hostile but respectful environment in Casablanca.

“But for sure with a lot of respect for the opposition and qualities that they present and the style of play that they are trying to impose on the pitch,” he continued.

“So it will be a very interesting game, with two very good teams, two styles that are not so far apart but, of course, the home-ground advantage and the support of the crowd also give an influence to how this game will be broken down into different phases.

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“And then, of course, it’s not only about the dynamism and the details that we have to use when we are in possession but also the change of rhythm that we have to impose ourselves when we’re out of possession and that’s going to be very, very important for us tomorrow.”

The first leg of the AFL final kicks off at 20:00 SAST at the Stade Mohamed V, while the second leg will take place on Sunday, 12 November at Loftus Versfeld.

David Kappel
David Kappel
David Kappel has served as a renowned international editor and content manager for almost a decade. David specialises in ensuring content and social media posts are highly engaging for football fans and was previously the international editor at Soccer Laduma. He is currently the iDiski Times website editor and social strategist.