Pitso eyes CWC semi-final spot

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane  EPA/KHALED ELFIQI

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane EPA/KHALED ELFIQI

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane is eyeing nothing less than a top-four finish in the Fifa Club World Cup.

The Brazilians left for Japan yesterday to represent the continent in the global spectacle. Masandawana are scheduled to play their quarterfinal on Sunday in Osaka, against the winners of Thursday’s play-off between Japan’s Kashima Antlers and New Zealand’s Auckland City.

Mosimane could not realise his dream of conquering Africa with Bafana Bafana, failing to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.

“Jingles” has, however taken home the continent’s top club prize with Sundowns, winning the 2016 Caf Champions League to make it to the Club World Cup. And he sees the tournament in Japan as an opportunity for not just Sundowns, but also South Africa to make an impact in the world game, especially with Bafana’s continued failure to do so at international level.

“I will be happy if we are in the semifinals and make sure we put South Africa in the top four in the world, I think that is a good footprint because in the World Cup with national teams it is not happening,” said Mosimane.

“Maybe we have an opportunity to make it with the clubs. We have ammunition with the clubs. Wits are strong, Chiefs are strong, Pirates are strong, SuperSport United are strong. So we should try the other way, if we can’t make it in the national teams, let’s go the other way. Let’s get South Africa back to being respected in Africa through the clubs.

“Let’s get two of our teams in the semifinals of the Confederation Cup, two in the semifinals of the Champions League. It is possible, it is a mind-set.”

Mosimane is also full of hope for football in the Southern African region as a whole.

“The region has done exceptionally well, I saw Namibia winning Cosafa, it was not easy for them to win it, those are the teams that you don’t expect to win Cosafa. Normally it is South Africa, Zimbabwe, so there is a little bit of a change there. I see Banyana Banyana on the world stage, I saw Zesco United making the semifinals (of the Champions League), and I said the region is doing well. I saw Zimbabwe qualifying for the Afcon after 10 years. I hope that next year we (Bafana) come up strongly, and I hope Zimbabwe does well in the Afcon …. here we are now representing Africa in Japan,” added Mosimane.

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