Football

IT’S OUR DUTY TO THE CLUB TO PUT US IN THE GROUP STAGES-RIVALDO COETZEE

Mamelodi Sundowns shift their focus to continental duty when they meet Burundian side Bumamuru FC in the second leg match of the preliminary round of this year’s CAF Champions League.

Bafana Ba Style head into this encounter with a 4-0 advantage. It was Lucas Ribeiro who opened the flood gates as early as the 12th minute and made it a brace in the second half, this may have vitalised the team to follow suit. Lesiba Nku and Peter Shalulile added their names on the scoresheet to extend the lead. Downs’ midfielder, Rivaldo Coetzee, believes that the second leg match won’t be easy even though they have an advantage.

“This is the Champions League, there is never an easy game even though we are 4-0 up after the first leg. We continue to prepare for every game the same because it’s the culture of the club and we want to win every match, so we will go into this match with the same mentality,” Coetzee said.

“It’s a whole new game so I think Bumamuru FC will come out maybe a little bit more aggressive than they did in the first leg because they know what they have to overcome if they want to go through. We also know what we need to do because it’s our duty to the club and ourselves to put us in the group stages,” he continues.

Rivaldo, who has been enjoying an incredible run of form since his return from injury is of the opinion that his performance is fuelled by the support from the rest of the team.

“Credit must go to the coach and technical team. I also have to give credit to my teammates as well for how they welcomed me back into the team. They have been so encouraging and it’s easy to stay with the team because there’s harmony. It’s like I haven’t been away, and to be part of this group is a privilege. To be with so much quality everyday just makes it so much easier to come back into a team after such a long lay-off.”

Last year, Wydad AC snatched the chances of Bafana Ba Style reaching the finals after drawing 2-2 on aggregate. Rivaldo looked back on what happened in the encounter in the semi-final and said his side is working hard to ensure that history does not repeat itself.

“We all felt the pain of what happened last season, we were so close. It’s not like we lost a game, that’s why we went out of the Champions League, we went out based on the away goal rule. That will be a learning curve for us this season.”

This year we are preparing to go into the first leg to win and try to kill the game off as we have done now in this preliminary round. We also know that this is the Champions League, it’s never over until the final whistle. Even with a 4-0 scoreline, we are still preparing for the second leg the same way we prepare for any other game,” Rivaldo concluded.

The second leg of the CAF Champions League preliminary round against Bumamuru FC will take place at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday evening. Kickoff is at 18H00.

INFO SOURCED FROM THE CLUBS’ WEBSITE.

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