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Pirates match prepared Downs for Al Ahly

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane says Monday’s Absa Premiership match away to Orlando Pirates was good preparation ahead of this weekend’s big match against Egyptian giants Al Ahly. 

Sundowns host the North Africans in a CAF Champions League first leg quarterfinal on Saturday, needing to get a victory in home soil to take to Cairo next weekend.

Mosimane’s men had a tough encounter against Pirates, a goalless draw which would no doubt have given them the challenge they need before taking on the eight-time champions on Saturday.

“It was a good preparation for us, but the challenge is the energy levels, a heavy pitch…it was a very heavy pitch with the rain. So we need to take them off training and give them a rest because we need fresh legs. But they [Al Ahly] also had a big one, they played Zamalek [over the weekend], it’s not an easy one. They are fighting for the league with Zamalek, it’s the derby. So it’s going to be difficult for us,” Mosimane said.

“I give credit to the boys when they can go on a heavy pitch like this and fight and keep going. These boys have played two Champions Leagues in one PSL season. They’ve played Nedbank Cup, they’ve played Telkom Cup, they’ve played MTN8. Sometimes I don’t know how they manage, but the majority of the players are professionals and that’s important. You can never ever make it on a heavy program like this when you don’t have proper professionals who respect the badge and respect their careers.”

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