Mamelodi Sundowns’ Mokwena anticipates ‘hostility’ in Tunisia, while Cardoso vows to ‘rectify mistakes’ following Esperance’s league draw.

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Both coaches are eager to secure a favorable outcome in this weekend’s encounter to position themselves well for advancement.


What Occurred?


Rhulani Mokwena’s Mamelodi Sundowns secured a spot in the semifinals after controversially eliminating Tanzanian champions Yanga SC from the Caf Champions League.


Tunisian powerhouse Esperance defeated Ivorian side ASEC Mimosas in the quarterfinals, setting up a showdown with the Premier Soccer League champions.


Mokwena anticipates a challenging encounter in the first leg of the semifinal, set to take place at the Hammadi Agrebi Stadium on Saturday.


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What Mokwena Remarked


“I expect hostility and tough conditions. Esperance are a good team, [they drew 1-1 against Monastir away in the domestic league] last weekend,” the 37-year-old told the media.


Furthermore, Miguel Cardoso



Esperance coach Miguel Cardoso lamented errors in his team’s recent league match and pledged to address them before facing Downs.


“We will correct our mistakes [from Monastir] as part of our preparation for this match,” he told the club’s media team.


“The technical staff is already hard at work and we will be ready on D-Day. I am confident that we have the resources to achieve great things. We need to stay focused, stay together, and give our best in every game.


“If we do that we will be difficult to stop.”


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The Broader View


In the 2022/23 edition, Masandawana suffered defeat against Wydad Casablanca in the semifinals, prompting Mokwena to pledge to reach the final this time around.


Similarly, the Tunisians faced a setback in the last edition, falling in the semifinals against Al Ahly, who ultimately clinched the title.


The most recent encounter between the two teams occurred in the 2017/18 season during the group stage. Masandawana lost 2-1 at home before securing a 0-0 draw away.



What Lies Ahead?



Mokwena must ensure his team is mentally and psychologically prepared to have any hope of securing a favorable result on the road.


It will be crucial for the North Africans to prevent conceding an away goal, as it could greatly endanger their prospects of progression.



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