Ahly's Mosimane says he deserved respect after abuse from Sundowns fans

Ahram Online , Saturday 22 May 2021

A video posted on Twitter showed some Sundowns fans holding aloft placards emblazoned with obscenities against Mosimane

Pitso Mosimane

Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane said he didn't deserve the ill-treatment he got from a section of Mamelodi Sundowns fans as the Egyptian giants qualified for the African Champions League semi-final at the expense of his ex-club on Saturday.

A video posted on Twitter showed some Sundowns fans holding aloft placards emblazoned with obscenities against the coach who led the club to a host of titles during a highly-successful eight-year reign.

Ahly held Sundowns to a 1-1 draw in Pretoria that sent them through to the semis with a comfortable 3-1 aggregate victory. The match was played behind closed doors due to COVID-19 concerns.

Mosimane was in charge of Sundowns when they were also knocked out of the quarters at the hands of Ahly last year, before leaving the South Africans to take charge of the Red Devils and lead them to the coveted Champions League title with a remarkable 2-1 victory over Cairo nemesis Zamalek.

"I remember the first time I came here with Mamelodi Sundowns to play against SuperSport United, I was emotional little bit emotional because I spent seven years at SuperSport United but we're professionals and this is a game of football," the 56-year-old told the post-match news conference.

"But I was little bit emotional only when I saw the placards outside and they stop the bus and all these people swearing at me, swearing at my mother.

"I said to myself, what else I should have done for this team to get the respect? But it's football I understand and I know the person who did that. And I know the person who is behind that.

"Just bitter because I left, I had to move on with my life, there's more, I don't want to talk, the things that I've received before my match from South Africa, if I show you my phone, correspondence I've received, emails I've received, they just don't let me go," he added.

Ahly's ultra-defensive strategy against Sundowns proved fruitful as it restricted the hosts to a couple of goal-scoring chances throughout the game.

The visitors looked composed at the back, with their massed ranks making life difficult for Sundowns.

"Sundowns had the better possession, but having the better possession doesn't mean you will win," Mosimane said.

"My plan was successful and I'm now looking forward to the African Super Cup. I'm not concerned with who we will face in the Champions League semi-final."

Ahly, who are eyeing a record-extending 10th crown, will meet the winners of the quarter-final clash between Algeria's CR Belouizdad and Tunisia's Esperance. Belouizdad won the first leg 2-0 at home.

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