Thu. Oct 22nd, 2020

Affonso has made a huge difference at Mamelodi Sundowns – Ntombela

2 min read

The retired Masandawana midfielder has backed the current squad to go all the way but he’s pleased with the contribution of the lanky striker

Mamelodi Sundowns legend Mike Ntombela believes the win over USM Alger augurs well for the club’s ambitions to lift their second Caf Champions League trophy.

The retired midfielder praised Sundowns for their hunger as they occupy the top spot in Group C with seven points. They still have to travel to Angola, host Wydad Casablanca and USM Alger.  

However, Ntombela tips Pitso Mosimane’s men to at least reach the semi-finals.  

“I think it’s quite difficult to say how far they can go but we have started very well – a win at home to Petro de Luanda and a draw away in Morocco as well as this one in Algeria,” Ntombela told Goal .

“These are the signs that Sundowns are getting better as a team in the Caf Champions League. I once predicted that we (Sundowns) can go to the semi-finals.

“The experience is there. Remember some players are in their final Champions League. Players such as (Hlompho) Kekana, (Tebogo) Langerman and (Anele) Ngcongca are experienced and can guide the team to glory.

“They’ll need the experience because once you reach that stage, it really becomes difficult but I would be very happy for the club to win the second star and go to the Club World Cup. I’m not really sure how far we can go, but judging from what we have done and the quality in the team, it looks like we can go all the way to the final.”

Speaking about options Mauricio Affonso is bringing to the team and the influence of Themba Zwane, Ntombela praised the technical team for making good signings.

“Even if we play Alger or Wydad here, they are always tough but players such as Affonso have really made a huge difference in the attacking third,” he added.

“On the other hand, the technical team is very experienced and it’s how they scouted good players to give the team options upfront.

“Players such as Zwane are shining and doing exceptionally well. Such players give the technical team an opportunity to plan well for the opponent.

“I think going to Wydad and Alger and come back with four points is significant and I think it augurs well for the club’s ambitions.

“Once the boys reach the knockout stages of the Champions League, they will be able to do well in their domestic schedule but it seems they are more focused on the continental competition.

“It’s good to target this big competition but the league remains a big one because we want to go back to the Champions League next season. I just wish the team all the best, the players, president, coaches, and the supporters the best of luck in 2020,” concluded Ntombela. 

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