Young Africans winger Mahlatse Makudubela is adamant his side’s CAF Champions League campaign won’t come to an end at the quarter-final stage.

The Tanzanian giants and 2023 CAF Confederation Cup runners-up ended in second place in Group D to secure a two-legged knockout clash with South African powerhouse Mamelodi Sundowns.

Makudubela knows the Brazilians well having come through the club’s youth academy, and as an opponent playing for the likes of Orlando Pirates and Platinum Stars.

He accepts it won’t be an easy game, but stressed that just like the DStv Premiership side, his team are a squad of winners.

The two clubs come face-to-face for their first leg at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium on Saturday, 30 March 2024. 

Makudubela, who is the first South African to play for Yanga, told FARPost: “I think it’s a very good stage, everyone in Africa will be watching the quarter-finals.

“The fact that all eight teams made it this far means there is no easy team, there is no easy draw. 

“The general feeling [within the team] is that we’re here by merit. We’ve competed in the group stages and come this far.

“Yanga is here by merit because we deserve to be here, we could have drawn any team and it happens to be Mamelodi Sundowns, which is very exciting for us. We’re looking forward to being in the next hat when they make the semi-final draw.”

Yanga’s connection with Sundowns runs deeper still with current head coach Miguel Gamondi having guided the Brazilians to a league title in 2007. 

Makudubela added: “With Coach Gamondi, every game we play – be it a league game, be it a cup game – he always wants to win. Our coach is a winner. Gamondi is a high-level competitor. 

“He’s a very good tactician and very advanced. And he’s turned the team around. He’s also excited to play his former team. Everybody at the club is looking at this game, and we’re going to make sure we qualify for the next round.”