Mamelodi, Al Ahly unfazed by Yanga and Simba SC

What you need to know:

  • As Simba will host the defending champions, Al Ahly, at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Yanga will face Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa at the same venue

Dar es Salaam. Pressure mounts ahead of the CAF Champions League quarterfinal matches involving Simba and Young Africans (Yanga).

As Simba will this Friday host the defending champions, Al Ahly of Egypt, at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Yanga will face Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa the following day at the same venue.

Both matches have been scheduled to kick off at 9pm East African time. Former Al Ahly midfielder Hossam Ghally, who is the team’s head of delegation, admitted facing the tough assignment against Simba, whom they have met several times.

Ghally said they know the atmosphere of the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium when they meet Simba, explaining that many fans attend and cheer their team wildly.

Besides the fans, the Egptian legend explained that Simba’s new head coach, Abdelhak Benchikha, adds another pressure in the encounter due to his experience in the African football. Ghally reiterated that Benchikha is a significant obstacle in the encounter, despite the fact they have prepared to come out with the best result.

He said of the Agerian tactician that he has a good record of winning over Al Ahly in the Super Cup when he was with USM Alger.

 Meanwhile, Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rhulani Mokwena has said they will need to be cautious against Yanga on Saturday, playing with determination to record victory, but added that it is not going to be an easy task.

“Yanga are a good team with experienced coach Miguel Gamondi, who is familiar with almost the entire philosophy of their club as he previously worked with Mamelodi Sundowns. It is going to be a tough match,” said Mokwena.

He explained that both teams have quality players add another excitement to the eagerly-awaited encounter.

“Our main target is to win the game and qualify for the next stage of the competition,” he said.

In another development, Yanga’s technical bench have been urged to be very keen in the match following the records of Mamelodi Sundowns of scoring mostly in the first half.

The records show that the South African side have managed to score five goals out of seven in the first 45 minutes in the Group Stage. The remaining two goals have been scored in the second half.

However, Yanga have the best records in scoring goals whereby out of nine goals scored in the Group Stage, six were scored in the second half.