Rulani Mokwena says that Mamelodi Sundowns are playing for pride when they take on the Sudanese club Al Hilal in the CAF Champions League on Friday.
Sundowns have already qualified for the quarter-finals, after winning all four previous group games.
But Mokwena says that Sundowns are looking to wipe away some of the pain for South African fans, who last week witnessed Bafana Bafana fail against Sudan.
Mokwena says it is also a chance to show that Sundowns is one of Africa’s top clubs
“We have had training in the main stadium, it went very well. We are here representing the nation and there is no time to rest. We want to prepare thoroughly and adapt to the conditions, it is a hard and bumpy pitch and it is very hot. We have two very important sessions left before match day,” Mokwena told the club’s media department.
The match has been brought forward to 3pm, but Mokwena says that is actually a good thing.
“The reality is the stadium is not 100% from the electrical perspective, the reports are the light is not good as we saw in the Bafana Bafana game. If the pitch is like this they had to change so that we don’t have any complications. It works for our advantage as we will leave immediately after the game and that will give us more rest.”
“The game against Al Hilal is very important and more important for us as South Africans, after what happened a couple of days ago.”
“The pain was greatly inflicted by the Sudanese National team and in this moment we have to do what is best and represent the nation and salvage a little bit of pride.”
“It is also a chance for us to demonstrate that as Mamelodi Sundowns we are one of the best teams in the continent.”