'Egyptian fans respect Sundowns'

Sundowns have travelled to Cairo this week for the second leg of their quarter-final tie, holding a seemingly unassailable lead over Egyptian giants Al Ahly after the 5-0 drubbing at the Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium.

READ: 'There is panic surrounding Al Ahly'

After achieving the historic feat in Tshwane, Osman discussed with KickOff about the chances of a comeback, the respect the fans of the 40-time Egyptian champions have for Pitso Mosimane's squad and the general opinion of South African clubs. 

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"The approach going into the game wasn't naive, they showed respect of facing a team that was recently at the top of Africa and one of the favourites to lift the title again - so it's safe to say that Sundowns were just too strong on the day," he said.

"If it was two or three nil from the first leg the tie would have been alive, Egyptian fans would have put a lot of money on the tie being turned around with the home ground advantage in Cairo - but it wasn't that and I think it's safe to say Sundowns passed the test and they will be in the semifinals."

What is the perception of Absa Premiership teams?

"With Sundowns having played Zamalek in the Champions League recently too, Egyptian fans have become quite aware of the threat they possess. What I can say, the difference between Absa Premiership teams and the top teams from Egypt or North Africa is that they have the ability, especially up front and searing pace that's used effectively in the transition from midfield to attack.

"North African teams don't really do well with pace from opposition and that is what Sundowns exposed against Al Ahly and Zamalek when they beat them 3-0 at home in 2017.

"The perception from Egyptians is that Sundowns are an exceptional side but in general for South African sides they feel the technical standard isn't that high so it gives our sides security knowing they could fluff one-on-one chances when they get through on goal.

"South African teams make plenty of chances, they get into great positions constantly when we face them with their speed and fluid counter-attacks but there is huge respect from both clubs [Ah Ahly and Zamalek] towards Sundowns in particular."

Masandawana face off against The Red Devils at the Egyptian Army Stadium on Saturday for the return-leg at 18:00 (SAST).

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