Mokwena not fazed by CAF Champions League match venue change

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Mamelodi Sundowns Coach Rhulani Mokwena is not worried about the last-minute change of venue ahead of his team’s CAF Champions League match on Saturday. The Brazilians host TP Mazembe from the Democratic Republic of Congo in their last Group A match at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville.

Both teams have already qualified for the quarterfinals.

Mamelodi Sundowns secured the venue for their crucial Champions League match against TP Mazembe at the eleventh hour. The Brazilians’ home ground, Loftus Versfeld, was unavailable due to the Blue Bulls vs Stormers United Rugby Championship match on the same day.

Sundowns then requested to use the FNB Stadium, but Stadium Management rejected it since Kaizer Chiefs will also be playing on the same day.

The team only announced this morning that the match will take place at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville.

“It’s a good pitch and the last time we played there against SuperSport United we got good results. We have good feelings about Lucas, we are familiar with the pitch, (and) the atmosphere that can also be created there. We just have to perform whether we play at Loftus or Lucas Moripe. That’s the mentality.”

The Brazilians have already qualified for the Champions League quarterfinals alongside their opponents, TP Mazembe. But there is still so much at stake for the two teams to finish at the top of Group A.

Defender Divine Lunga is looking forward to the contest and what it has in store.

“I think the boys are ready for the game. The training is going well, and the coach is giving us good instructions. I think the boys are ready. We want to finish strong in our group, so that we can finish on top of our group.”

The Brazilians will be attempting to win the Champions League for a second time since 2016. Since then, they have bowed out in the group stage, reached the quarterfinals five times and semi-finals twice.

Mokwena admits they will need a bit of luck to win it again.

“I think this competition, to win it, you need a lot of luck. Last season, Al Ahly were almost out, in Afcon, in these competitions that are high level when there is not much difference, you need luck.”

The match will kick-off at 3 PM and will be broadcast live on SABC 1.