Mamelodi Sundowns are favourites to win Champions League, says FC Nouadhibou coach

FC Nouadhibou coach Aritz Lopez Garai believes that Mamelodi Sundowns are favourites to win this season’s CAF Champions League.

The Brazilians got their group stage campaign underway with a comprehensive 3-0 win over the Mauritian side on Sunday.

Lucas Ribeiro Costa opened the scoring at Loftus Stadium on 22 minutes and Peter Shalulile added a second goal just six minutes later.

Gaston Sirino completed the scoring with his strike on 74 minutes.

Sundowns top Group A with three points after one game, with Egypt’s Pyramids FC in second, also on three points, while TP Mazembe and Nouadhibou are both without a point.

Garai said in the Citizen: “I even said before the game that maybe at this point they are the best team in Africa.

“They play with the ball and without the ball they press. Their fans are fantastic and the atmosphere is fantastic.

“They have good coaches and I think they are one of the favourites. Wydad and Al-Ahly have a lot of power to win but for me Mamelodi Sundowns are one of the favourites to win the champions league.”

Sundowns have only won the Champions League once, back in 2016 while this is Nouadhibou’s first appearance in the elite competition.

The head coach added: “The championship in South Africa is very strong and it’s different from our league.

“We learn in this competition. For us to be here is a big miracle. There has never been a Mauritanian team that played in the Champions League.”