Champions League: Downs Ready to Finish Wydad in Morocco

Johannesburg - Mamelodi Sundowns are three matches away from successfully defending their African Champions League crown.

But the big assignment comes tomorrow when they play Wydad Casablanca of Morocco in their quarterfinal, second leg at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat.

This assignment will show whether the Brazilians are African champions because they deserve the crown or if it was just pure luck.

Veteran Downs defender Wayne Arendse reckons they stand a good chance of progressing to the semifinals if they are able score an away goal. Downs won the first leg 1-0.

“That would require Casablanca to score more than three goals to beat us, which won’t be easy,” Arendse said from Morocco yesterday.
Pitso Looking for a Win in Morroco 

“This stage of the competition is very tough, considering it is a knockout stage. We have been here before, we know what to expect and all the dirty tricks.”

The 32-year-old Arendse was reacting to Casablanca’s unsporting move of neglecting to allocate a training venue to Downs when they arrived on Tuesday, only doing so late on Wednesday.

“This is nothing new to us,” he added.

He said they expected a full capacity crowd at the match venue that seats more than 60 000: “We thrive in a full stadium. That’s the moment the guys come out of their shell and perform.”

He also touched on the opposition’s common target – the defending champions themselves. “Last year we were the new boys and no one knew much about us,” he said.

“But this time around everybody knows us because we are the defending champions. Still, we have a good mixture of talent here, with senior players and youngsters, which creates a good vibe.”

Arendse has been out of the Champions League for a while and is happy to be part of the travelling crew.

“I find myself in the second leg of the quarterfinals!” he said. “We managed to get a goal in the first leg and kept a clean sheet – two positives going to the second leg. We need to hold on to that goal since they will also need to score goals to win. But we also need to score to be safe.”

Meanwhile, SuperSport United will visit Zambian outfit Zesco United at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola tomorrow at 3pm. - Daily Sun

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