File photo: Ahly South African coach Pitso Mosimane
Ahly's South African coach Pitso Mosimane stressed on the importance of beating Sudan's Merreikh on Saturday to secure qualification for the African Champions League quarters without waiting for the final round.
The Red Devils are second in Group A with seven points, three behind leaders Tanzania’s Simba and four clear of third-placed Vita Club of the DR Congo. Merreikh lie at the bottom with a solitary point.
"Winning against Merreikh at their own stadium will give us the chance to achieve three targets; securing qualification, continuing our mission to top the group and sending a message to all competitors that Ahly are only out for wins either home or away," Mosimane told Ahly's official website.
Ahly recovered from a surprise 1-0 loss to Simba and a 2-2 draw at home to Vita Club by beating the latter 2-0 away, a victory which put them in pole position to reach the last eight.
“It’s not necessary to start the group stage perfectly. What really matters is how we end our campaign," the South African boss added.
"The Champions League group stage is just like a marathon, in which our only concern would be finishing well. That is our target for the next two games."
Mosimane said it is important for Ahly to put in a display against Merreikh that matches the pedigree of the record nine-time African Champions.
He said Merreikh would provide a stern test, given that they gave Simba a run for their money in their last game.
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