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‘One day they are going to lose’: Al-Hilal coach on Sundowns’ home record

13 February 2021 - 11:54 By Mahlatse Mphahlele and mahlatse mphahlele
Mamelodi Sundowns during a training session and media open day at Chloorkop in Midrand on December 12, 2019.
Mamelodi Sundowns during a training session and media open day at Chloorkop in Midrand on December 12, 2019.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Al-Hilal Omdurman coach Zoran Manojlović says they will not be intimidated by the highly impressive 19-match unbeaten home record of Mamelodi Sundowns in the Caf Champions League.

The Brazilians host the Sudanese in the first match of the group stages at Loftus on Saturday looking to stretch their unbeaten record at home in this competition to 20 matches.

The last time Sundowns lost in the Champions League at home was against Esperance of Tunisia in 2017 and since then they have achieved some remarkable results at Loftus or Lucas Moripe Stadium.

“They are very strong at home because they have not lost in about 20 matches but one day they are going to lose for the first time and I hope that day is tomorrow,” Manojlović said.

“We did not have enough time for preparations because on Monday we played in our league back home. We have had a few days of preparation for this big game and we are playing against a big team in Africa, who are very strong at home.

“I am expecting a hard game but we are prepared to do our best. We know that it is going to be a very tough game but this is what you get at this stage of the competition.”

Manojlović said that all his players have been cleared to play after testing negative for Covid-19 in their latest round of testing this week.

“I have received the results for all 28 players and they are negative, which is very good.

“In our last game against the team from Ghana we had some problems with two positive results for players who are in the starting line-up. It is for that reason that I brought 28 players because you will never know how many positive cases you are going to get.

“Covid is a problem not only for football but for everything on the planet. I hope that Caf does a good job and puts good conditions for all the teams to finish the group stages and until we reach the final and finish the final.

“It is hard with all the travelling where we must do the tests every three days. It is not easy and I hope that things will be better because the vaccine is coming and the cases will go down. I hope that soon we will have the supporters in the stadium.

“Sundowns have many supporters and for us, the support back home is our 12th player and it is very important for the teams to have the supporters back in the stadiums.”