Sledge said the Brazilians had to work harder than their opponents in order to advance to the next stage
Mamelodi Sundowns central midfielder Mothobi Mvala is looking forward to playing in the Caf Champions League group stage after the Brazilians progressed on Tuesday.
The 26-year-old was on the scoresheet as Masandawana secured a 3-1 win over Jwaneng Galaxy in the Caf Champions League first-round first-leg match in Pretoria.
The result saw the PSL champions advance to the group stage after defeating the Botswanan champions 5-1 on aggregate.
Nicknamed Sledge, Mvala netted Sundowns’ second with a header from Aubrey Modiba’s corner-kick, his third goal in four competitive matches this term.
“It was a good game. We implemented what we have been practising at training regarding the set-piece,” Mvala told the club’s social media platforms. “We knew that it was not going to be an easy game, but we had to work harder than them and we are now through to the group stage.”
Mvala, who joined Masandawana from Highlands Park prior to the start of the current season, has managed to live up to his reputation as a goalscoring midfielder at the Tshwane giants.
“For me personally, I have this good feeling because it is my first time in my career that I am playing in a Caf club competition,” he added. “I am looking forward to being part of the team which will play in the group stage.”
Mvala’s teammate, Lebohang Maboe said it was imperative for Sundowns to qualify for the Champions League group stage.
“I think it is a big step for us to reach the group stage. It is what the club expects from us,” Maboe also told the club’s social media platforms, “but it was not an easy game – starting in the first-half we should have done ourselves some justice by getting an early goal and probably put them on the back foot.”
Maboe, who played the entire match as a playmaker, was pleased by the team’s overall performance as Manqoba Mngqithi’s side dominated the match at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.
“We finally got that goal and we knew that the game had to open up,” the former Maritzburg United midfielder continued. “We had to get the second one then the third one.
“We tried to control the game which we did. Yeah, overall I think we had a good game.”
Sundowns have now turned their attention to their PSL encounter with Baroka FC which will be played on Saturday.