Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena has expressed his team’s readiness for the first leg of the African Football League (AFL) semifinals against Ahly, while also praying for ‘miracles’.
Sundowns will host the first leg on Sunday, with the second leg set to take place in Cairo on Wednesday.
“I am on my knees, and I bow my head every night. I pray and ask God to perform miracles. The same miracles He performed, my prayer to Him is just to perform one more,” Mokwena was quoted as saying on the CAF official website on Saturday.
“My prayer is that He resurrects and brings back Lucas (Riberiro Costa), Peter (Shalulile), and Thapelo (Morena) as soon as possible because they make a difference,” he added.
The 36-year-old coach emphasized the significance of the highly anticipated continental tournament.
The AFL, introduced by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in collaboration with FIFA, features eight teams from across the continent, including TP Mazembe from DR Congo, Esperance from Tunisia, Enyimba from Nigeria, and Wydad from Morocco.
The AFL title holder will be rewarded with a prize of $4 million, the highest in continental club competitions.
“The level has been very, very high. The teams are very good from what I watched – catching up with all the games,” Mokwena said.
“I am not surprised because it is a select few; the highest select few and probably the most highly-ranked teams on the continent (participating).”
“Ahly and Simba was an exceptional game; the level was very high. I watched Esperance struggle. I saw Enyimba putting on an unbelievable performance. And there was a physical and hard-running TP Mazembe,” the Sundowns coach remarked.