Pitso Mosimane sees Mamelodi Sundownsa�� success against North and West African teams in the African Champions League as an indication of the narrowing gap between southern African teams and those from higher up on the continent.
The Brazilians landed at the OR Tambo International airport early on Wednesday morning from Egypta�s where they placed one foot in the door of the semifinal stages of the Champions League with their 2-1 win over continental giants Zamalek on Sunday.
Downs have certainly made their presence felt in the Confederation of African Football’s premier club competition as the victory came on the back of another 2-1 win against Nigerian side Enyimba at the end of last month.
Just weeks before Mosimanea��s side had registered an away 2-0 win over Algerian side ES Setif.
Mosimane believes the days of automatically expecting southern African sidesa�s especially clubs from SAa�s to struggle in matches against teams from North and West Africa are almost over.
a�?Usa�s as South Africansa�s we are not too far. The gap is closinga�sa�? the Downs coach said.
a�?Look at Bafana Bafana when they play away [to teams like] Senegala�s Cameroon they do very well.A� It is just towards the end where we make some small mistakes and lose concentrationa�s then we either draw or lose. But we are not too far.a�?
Mosimane added that continental competitions like the Champions League need to be taken more seriously in SA.
a�?We need to take the Champions League seriously. It provides the national team with opportunities.a�?
The coach stressed how important it was for his own players to benefit from playing against some of the best clubs on the continent.
The Brazilians mentor said that the experience of facing some of the best African players at club level would have added benefits for the national team too.
a�?You can never go to Egypt and play against [Zamalek and Egypt midfielder Tarek] Hameda�s but Sugar (Tiyani Mabunda) has played against him. Now everyone knows that Sugar can play in Cairo and matches that levela�sa�? said Mosimane.
a�?Now [Bafana coach] Shakes (Mashaba) knowsa�� The talent is there. We have also unveiled Keagan (Dolly). We have morea�s we are safe at the highest level.
a�?Ita��s opena�s the [players] are trialled and tested.a�? – TMG Digital