Sundowns' Pitso Mosimane considers Yannick Zakri deployment for Wydad Casablanca rematch
Posted: 18 September 2017 Time: 14:30
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane could start with Ivorian forward Yannick Zakri as a number nine in the club’s CAF Champions League quarter-final second leg against Wydad Casablanca.
Zakri scored the winner in Sundowns' 1-0 victory over the Moroccan outfit in the first leg encounter at Lucas Moripe Stadium yesterday, after coming on at the start of the second half for midfielder Sibusiso Vilakazi.
After a disappointing first half in which Sundowns did not do much to trouble the Wydad goalkeeper, Zakri changed the game and gave the hosts the goal they needed to take a slender lead to Casablanca for the away clash on Saturday.
According to Mosimane, Zakri is best suited to start away matches because he does a lot of running which can unsettle the opposition.
Zakri took a while before he found his feet at Sundowns and could now prove to be one of the men Mosimane relies on upfront, especially with Khama Billiat and Anthony Laffor as injury doubts to play the second leg match.
“I knew that Zakri was going to create stress. He is quick, [but] sometimes when you play him in the first half he is not too good because he likes to run more than play. He is a different personnel,” Mosimane said.
“For away [game], much better than Leo [Castro] maybe as a [number] nine. He helped us, but that’s why we brought him here. He played against Wydad in the group [last year when he was at ASEC Mimosas], so they know him very well [and] they respect Zakri. Now he scored and his confidence will go up.”
Wydad did not concede at home during the group stages against Al Ahly, Zanaco and Coton Sport, so Zakri will have to use his pace to unsettle them and hope that he can find an opening in their tight defence.