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Yanga Coach Puts Pressure On Downs Ahead Of CAFCL Clash

Young Africans head coach Miguel Angel Gamondi has insisted Mamelodi Sundowns are the clear favourites when the two sides will meet in the CAF Champions League quarter-final.

While Sundowns finished at the top of Group A, Yanga qualified as second from Group D – behind Al Ahly, upsetting Algerian giants CR Belouizdad.

Gamondi is no stranger to Sundowns and South Africa, as the Argentine was working as co-coach with Neil Tovey at Masandawana and guided the club to the league victory in 2007, before later coaching Platinum Stars between 2007 and 2009.

He has put the favourites tag clearly on Sundowns, saying the DStv Premiership champions are the biggest team in the competition alongside record champions Al Ahly.

“It is my former team. I was champions with Sundowns in 2006, I have a very nice souvenir,” he said, as per The Guardian.

“On one hand, I am very happy to play against Sundowns, it is a team that I love because of the things you did well you always keep this feeling especially because they play the kind of football similar to us.

“It is a big team and, for Yanga, it is a special moment with the biggest team. The other day I told the president that Yanga is now sitting on the table of big teams.

“We have this ambition of being top five in Africa, you must compete and, for us, we will be at best to know which is our level.

“Sundowns like Al Al Ahly must be in the finals because they are the biggest teams. If you compare the budget of Sundowns to ours, definitely they must be favourites.”

Gamondi also explained the difference between the two sides by pointing out Sundowns’ recent transfer of Matias Esquivel.

“Last time they bought one player from Argentina I think for $4 million and we brought Guede and Okra for free in the last transfer window,” he added.

“This is the difference and the people must understand but that doesn’t matter when the referee blows the whistle it is 11 against 11.

“We need to fight, to put in more effort than Sundowns. As I said earlier when we played Al Ahly, the issue is a little bit handicapped by experience.

“All the players in Tanzania, even in the national teams, don’t have this experience of playing crucial games at the top level.

“This was the difference between us and Al Ahly in the two games. We made a mistake here and there while Al Ahly committed mistakes and won.

“Johan Cruyff always says football is a game of mistakes and sometimes this lack of experience makes you commit mistakes. But I am very positive, optimistic and we will face Sundowns and we can create a surprise.”

The match kicks off at 20:00 at the Benjamin Mpaka Stadium on Saturday.

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.