Mamelodi Sundowns are gearing up for a must-win game in the second leg of their CAF Champions League quarter-final against Tanzania’s Young Africans on Friday.

The first leg ended in a tense stalemate with both teams unable to break the deadlock, leaving the tie finely balanced at 0-0 heading into the second leg at Loftus Versfeld. 

Masandawana coach Rulani Mokwena, who will be boosted by the return of Themba Zwane, is confident that his team will be fully motivated to overcome Young Africans.

Having already clinched the inaugural CAF African Football League title, Mokwena believes that the experience gained from that triumph will serve his team well against Young Africans, who are navigating unfamiliar territory at this stage of Africa’s premier club competition. 

It marks the first time that the Tanzanian champions have reached this level of the tournament.

“I think the players understand the mandate and the experience is there. One of the experiences that we don’t mention is the AFCON experience and it will also come in handy and I’m sure the players will dig deep into that,” said Mokwena.

“These are the type of games that are won on details and small margins that shift or push the game either away from or towards you,” a confident Mokwena said.

“We have to be ready for that. The biggest lesson of Caf Champions League games is that you can’t get comfortable… the moment you are comfortable, that’s when you are more vulnerable.

“With the score at 0-0, the potential of counter-attacks can swing the narrative of the game so we have to be careful when we are in possession. We’ve been in this situation where from the first leg it was 0-0 and we understand what happens.

“You just think about last season and in the semifinal against Wydad away in Morocco, we had to come here and unfortunately it ended 2-2 but that experience helped us in the MTN8 against Chiefs and in the AFL final against the same Wydad.”