Mosimane is confident that Wydad won’t drop points at home when they meet USM Alger tomorrow afternoon
Coach Pitso Mosimane is not bothered by Mamelodi Sundowns doing CAF Champions League group stage counterparts Wydad Casablanca a favour in their bid to qualify for the knockout stage as long as the Brazilians finish top of the group.
Tomorrow Sundowns play in the penultimate round of the group matches where they’ll meet Angola’s Petro de Luanda in their backyard, Estádio 11 de Novembro (3:30pm kick-off).
Win there and Sundowns would have done enough to cement top spot in Group C. They’ve already qualified for the knockout stage after amassing 10 points out of 12 in the last four matches, thanks to three wins and a draw. However, a Sundowns win would also be a blessing in disguise for Wydad. The Moroccans are second in the group with six points, four clear of third-placed Petro, who still have a shot at a berth in the quarter-finals.
Granted the Angolans get maximum points (six) in the next two matches, against Sundowns and USM Alger, and Wydad lose their remaining two matches, they’ll be the second team to qualify for the knockout stage, alongside the South Africans, in group C.
Mosimane, however, is confident that Wydad won’t drop points at home when they meet USM Alger tomorrow afternoon, but he doesn’t mind doing the “Lord’s work” by pulling off a win in Angola and almost handing the Moroccans a berth in the quarter-finals.
“Petro still has a life if they win their last two matches and Wydad doesn’t win (their last two matches against us and USM Alger). But trust me, in Casablanca, Wydad is going to wrap it up because they know that they can’t come here and say they are going to win because they’ve never won here,” he said.
“If they win (tomorrow against USM Alger), they’ll eliminate the Algerians and if we win, we’ll eliminate Petro. So, it can be an official friendly game at the end. But they’ll want us to win (tomorrow), because their threat in the group is only Petro. So, everybody has to do what they have to do for themselves.”
A win for Sundowns tomorrow will also ensure they are seeded during the knockout stage draw, where they’ll meet a runners-up finisher from the other groups.
But in the bigger scheme of things, should both Sundowns and Wydad win their respective matches, the meeting between the two teams in Atteridgeville next Friday, will all but serve as battle of the supremacy, especially after playing to a 0-0 draw in the first leg.
“It’s very important (that we win) because we don’t want to play Wydad here and looking for a win. When you manage competition, it’s a bit different. You can’t have the cake and eat it. You’d wish to eliminate Wydad because you can meet them again,” Mosimane said.
“When we won the Champions League (in 2016), we had Zamalek SC in our group but we met them in the final. So, you don’t want the big boys around there (in the knockout stage). That’s why we have to finish top.”