MENTAL TRIP: Downs’ Tiyani Mabunda

Mamelodi Sundowns’ trip to Ghana laid the foundation for their success in their second attempt at the Caf Champions League.

The Brazilians are one point from claiming a semifinal spot in their group-stage game against Egyptian giants Zamalek in Pretoria tomorrow night (7.30pm).

Downs’ clash with Ghanaians Medeama after being relegated to the Confed Cup saw their hosts pull antics that bordered on intimidation.

Tiyani Mabunda missed the game relied on information from his teammates on how things went in Ghana because the match wasn’t televised.

Mabunda says: “They told me that it wasn’t a pleasant stay there, those guys did whatever they could to make sure they win.

“There is a reason why they refused for the game to be televised.

“I believe that the challenges they faced there were preparations for what we are going through now.

“That’s why we have been able to go to some of the most intimidating atmospheres and come back with wins.”

Mabunda got his chance after Downs were reinstated after AS Vita were disqualified for playing an ineligible player and scored in further intimidating conditions in Algeria and Egypt.

Those matches, against ES Setif in Algeria and Medeama in Ghana, showed how far the club had grown mentally.