Downs Dominance Over Al Hilal In Danger!

Rulani Mokwena

Mamelodi Sundowns and Al Hilal Omdurman have faced each other four times, with the Brazilians winning three of the encounters, and one ending in a draw.

Downs have managed to score seven goals against Al Hilal, with their biggest win being a 4-2 victory in the last game the two sides met.

The two sides meet again today (11-February 2023) at Loftus Versfeld for their opening match of CAF Champions’ League group stages.

Downs go into the match in sizzling form, with a fifteen game winning streak in the league.

But the big question is, can they transfer their domestic form into the champions league?

As much as they are in top form,  and have been dominant over Al Hilal, Sundowns will do well not to expect a walk in the park at Loftus, home ground advantage or not, and Rulani Mokwena is well aware of that fact.

“It’s not going to be given on a silver platter, we work hard to win the next match,  and our best to win every single competition we take part in,”  Mokwena told Soccer Laduma.

And work hard they will have to, because Al Hilal are not in South Africa do donate three points.

In Florent Ibenge, Al Hilal have an experience tactician who can easily plot Downs downfall in front of their fans.

In terms of playing personnel,  Al Hilal have improved since their last encounter against Downs, adding the likes of DRC International,  Fabrice Ngoma, and highly rated Senegalese defender, Ousmane Diouf to their already competitive squad.

Mamelodi Sundowns will have to be prepared to face a much improved Al Hilal Omdurman side.

Also Read: Coaches Report Card: Will Rulani Mokwena Win The CAFCL?

How Downs are likely to line-up?

In goals, Ronwen Williams should return after being rested against Richards Bay.

Khuliso Mudau will be expected to start at left-back, with Modiba on the left.

Tebogo Mokoena should start in the DM role, with Maema, Mbule, and Mkhulise expected to start alongside him in midfield should Zwane not be fit in time.

Upfront, Shalulile will be expected to start alongside the free scoring Cassius Mailula.

Rulani Mokwena will be looking for a perfect start to Downs CAF Champions League campaign.
Rulani Mokwena will be looking for a perfect start to Downs CAF Champions League campaign.