Downs co-head coach Manqoba Mngqithi is satisfied with the points Sundowns have accumulated as they remain unbeaten this season. Sundowns have drawn just three of their 10 games and won the rest to see a tally of 24 points going towards the half-way line of the campaign.
“In our planning for the season we put out that we want to achieve 12 points in every five matches and in the first cycle (five games) we got 13 points and in the second cycle we got 11 points and if we add one point to the second cycle it gives us exactly what we want to achieve and we are very happy with the group,” said Mngqithi.
“Everybody around the team has worked very hard. Our conditioning department has kept us strong, credit must be given to all of them, they have kept the whole team fresh and ready. This is only the beginning. We still have a long road to go and we need to stay focused,” he added.
The Brazilians will be looking to take their domestic form into the continent’s premium club competition, the Caf Champions League, where their group stage opponents have been revealed.
Mngqithi believes Sundowns are drawn into a “tricky” group where they will play Al Hilal of Sudan in the opening game before taking on TP Mazembe and CR Belouizdad of Algeria.
“This stage of the Champions League you can expect anything but one would have wanted a little more of direct flights which we probably might not get because Lubumbashi does not have a direct flight at this stage.
“In terms of opponents, it is a tricky draw because in my mind, El Hilal is one team that is looking a bit stronger and we have to tread carefully. Travelling to that side is not the easiest… let’s hope that we can get maximum points when we play at home in our first match.
“TP Mazembe is always a tricky affair, one will be fortunate if the supporters do not come into the stadium because that environment can be hostile for youngsters and new players but I believe we got what it takes to go to the next phase.”