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HomeCAF Champions LeagueMokwena - We Need The Fans To Worship Them

Mokwena – We Need The Fans To Worship Them

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena has explained why it’s imperative to kill the game off early and create a hostile atmosphere for Young Africans SC.

Sundowns host Yanga tomorrow with the game evenly poised at 0-0 and reminiscent of the semif-final exit to Wydad in terms of the first-leg score.

With the Brazilians narrowly eliminated to Petreo de Luanda and Wydad in the quarter-final and semi-finals over the last two seasons respectively, Mokwena says it’s important they take control of the game early into the match in Tshwane tomorrow.

“It’s very important, Lorenz [to kill off the game early], that’s why in my post-match interview [last week] I spoke to the supporters,” Mokwena said ahead of the game.

“Tomorrow they have to play and I ask them to play the way they played against Al Ahly in the AFL, we won the game because of our fans, there were no moments where they were quiet in the 90 minutes.

“That drum kept beating and beating and beating and I honestly believe that tomorrow, if they come up in their numbers, fill the stadium and make it yellow, they make the opposition uncomfortable throughout and even in suffering moments, they can’t suffer with us.

“They have to energise us, push us and give us that extra push and sometimes that’s where we have it with the Sundowns fans, when we suffer they suffer, they can’t suffer with us tomorrow – they have to come and energise us and push us.”

Having won the African Football League (AFL) last year, Sundowns have been touted as favourites for the crown they last secured for the first time in 2016 – but Mokwena says the supporters need to come to the party.

“I think if that can happen tomorrow we have a big, big advantage when Loftus is buzzing when the Yellow Nation is signing and the energy they are able to give us, then the players just go out and perform, it’s what you need in the Champions League,” he continued.

“Home ground needs to be taken advantage of, that’s not just playing surface or the comfort of being at home is actually about the supporters making the stadium a cathedral, a place of worship and tomorrow they have to worship the team.

“They have to support the team and energise the team and really in that moment if they do that we should be alright.”

The two sides meet tomorrow at Loftus at 20h00.

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.