Caf Champions League: Mamelodi Sundowns want to close group stage chapter – Mngqithi

The Brazilians enjoy a what looks like a comfortable lead in their pool after recording a 100 percent record in their matches so far

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi is targeting qualification for the Caf Champions League quarter-finals “as quickly as possible” when they host Tout Puissant Mazembe in Tuesday’s Group B showdown at Loftus Versfeld.

Being six points clear on top of their group, victory for Sundowns against Mazembe will see them reaching the last eight of the tournament with two games to go.

They have won all three matches at this stage of the campaign, including beating Mazembe 2-1 away in their last match.

“We have done extensive work on TP Mazembe. We know their strength, we know their players to watch,” Mngqithi told the media on Monday.

“They gave us a very tough match in Lubumbashi. But truth be told we also want to make sure that we close this chapter of the Champions League as quickly as possible in terms of the group. So we will be looking for the chance to get the three points.

“Always an open game suits a team like Mamelodi Sundowns. We always thrive against teams that come strong. They have some very good players [Joel] Djedje who is very influential. When he came on in those few minutes [in the first leg], he caused us a lot of problems.”

Despite enjoying what looks like a healthy lead, Mngqithi insists that they are guarding against complacency when they host the Congolese giants.

They are facing a team yet to win a single match in this group with just two points from three matches.

Mazembe are level on points with Al Hilal and CR Belouizdad who complete Group B.

“We know what to expect from them and we don’t take this game for granted because their backs are against the wall,” continued Mngqithi.

“They will give a big fight because they know they have to get a result in our game tomorrow for them to stay in the hunt within the group because if anything happens on the other side between Al Hilal and Belouizdad they know their chances are getting limited.

“The number of games is getting smaller, we are fully aware of that so this is not a game we are taking for granted. It is important that we approach this game with an open mind and give it our best shot. Hopefully tomorrow we should guarantee a place in the quarter-finals.”

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