Masilela warns of hostile reception in Egypt
Former Mamelodi Sundowns winger Joel Masilela says the Brazilians should expect a hostile reception for their CAF Champions League quarter-final second-leg tie against Al Ahly in Cairo next weekend.
Firstly, Masilela was full of praise for Sundowns for their 5-0 thumping of the record eight-time winners at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday.
It was a record defeat in African competition for the 'team of the century' and the first time in the Brazilians' history they have beaten the Egyptian outfit in five attempts.
“It was a good game, we were fully in control of the proceedings and the guys showed their willingness to win it. I think everything was there, the application, discipline and they were also clinical,” he said.
“I mean five goals is a good scoreline and a signal that we mean business in this tournament. It’s a massive boost and a huge advantage to take to Egypt,” added the former Bafana Bafana international.
Masilela was a member of the Sundowns squad that lost to Al Ahly during the 2001 final and was proud of the current side for an unprecedented victory.
“I’m one of the players that played them at Loftus (Versfeld) and we drew 1-1 when we were supposed to beat them like the current generation, who have made history,” he continued.
“I am proud of the guys, they buried their chances and they will go to Cairo in high spirits. I am confident that they will do better well again in Cairo, but it will not be easy. I am talking from experience,” he reacted.
“Look, anything can happen in football, we can't say Ahly cannot score six goals, but I am happy with the fact that they did not get that way goal,” expressed ‘Fire’.
“We were very clinical and disciplined at the back and that is a huge advantage for us. It will be unfair and childish to say Ahly cannot score against Sundowns,” added the 48-year-old.
“You will remember we (Bafana) beat Seychelles 5-0 at home and went on to draw 0-0 away. So that tells us that football can be funny and unpredictable,” he warned.
“However, I am delighted and confident that we have an experienced technical staff and We just need to work on our attitude going to the second-leg because the job is not done yet,” he advised.
“We need to respect them, they are still a good team with good players and a rich history. My point is that we need to be very alert and clever because they will throw everything at us, the crowd will be very hostile, from the airport to the field of play,” reflected the legend.
“I don’t think they will think about hosting Afcon, these guys are dirty. We know the North Africans and I have been there – Sundowns will not find it easy there and that is why a 5-0 win is a good result,” he noted.
“We need to be clever next weekend, I have faith that coach Pitso Mosimane will instil discipline in the team. Yes, we have the advantage to reach the semi-final, but the job is not done,” he responded.
“We must not be overconfident and say we will go and relax because it will be a new ball game. We still need to be hungry and show that it was not a fluke. To be honest, it could have been seven goals or more,” said the former winger.
“I am so proud of the guys and we need to close the shop again because they will not take the 5-0 loss lightly, that is the first loss with that margin for them – it will be war in Cairo I promise you,” he concluded.