Absa Premiership

Downs want to get back on track

2018-05-20 09:00
Pitso Mosimane (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Mamelodi Sundowns will use the free soccer lessons they received from Barcelona to good effect in the CAF Champions League.

The Brazilians will now turn their attention to the Champions League, where they face Guinea’s Horoya AC in their second game of the group stages on Tuesday evening.

The game was rescheduled to accommodate the Barcelona friendly, which was held to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s centenary.

After being made to run around by the star-studded La Liga champions on Wednesday, Pitso Mosimane said the game was good preparation for the Horoya match.

Mosimane said he was not disappointed with the 3-1 final scoreline, but was unhappy about how his players gave away possession too cheaply, and allowed two costly mistakes that resulted in two goals against them.

The Catalans put Sundowns to the sword with an easy victory thanks to goals from Ousmane Dembélé, Luis Suárez and André Gomes.

Sibusiso Vilakazi scored Downs’ consolation goal.

The Brazilians need to get their campaign back on track after dropping points at home against defending champions Wydad Casablanca.

Downs are third on the log behind Horoya, who won their opening game at Togo-Port, and Wydad, who also beat the Togolese side in their second match this week.

Mosimane said he expected his players to go back to playing their normal game – unlike when they froze on the big stage and committed schoolboy errors against Barca.

Downs will welcome back striker Percy Tau after he missed the opening game due to suspension.

Against the north Africans, Downs were impotent in front of goals and clearly missed the services of their top scorer.

Although they created chances to wrap up the game, they could not capitalise and Mosimane bemoaned their lack of killer instincts as their downfall.

He is hoping for a better outing against an equally good side, who will be motivated by their away win.

Downs cannot afford to drop more points if they are to advance to the knockout stages of the tournament.

Downs will be eager to end this season on a high as this match will serve as their last game before the World Cup and their much-needed break.

Added to this, they do not want to lose sight of leaders Wydad at the top.

A loss to Horoya will make their lives difficult going forward.

This could also be Khama Billiat’s last game for the club as his contract runs out at the end of the month.

The Zimbabwean has refused to extend his contract and he has been linked with clubs in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan.

Sundowns’ next game will be in Togo in July.

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