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Mosimane plays down intimidation from Zamalek fans

Sundowns are just 90 minutes away from being crowned the 2016 CAF Champions League winners.

FILE: Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane celebrates after his team won against Egypt's Zamalek, at the CAF final at the Lucas Moripe Stadium near Pretoria on 15 October 2016. Picture: Sundowns Twitter: @Masandawana

JOHANNESBURG - Mamelodi Sundowns are just 90 minutes away from being crowned the 2016 CAF Champions League winners, and all they have to do to lift the trophy is protect their 3-0 advantage they picked up against Zamalek in the first leg of the final on Saturday.

Sundowns handed Zamalek a hiding in front of a packed Lucas Moripe Stadium, to put themselves in the perfect position to walk away with the coveted African club silverware.

Coach Pitso Mosimane's men's performance in Atteridgeville may have been nothing short of sublime, but it has also earned them targets on their backs, which the Zamalek fans have been taking aim at.

Mosimane confirmed this week that his players have been receiving death threats and intimidating messages on their social media pages, which indicates the frustrations by the Egyptians and the humiliation they suffered when their team was hammered.

The Sundowns gaffer has played the threats down and says his players aren't bothered by the messages, instead, they have chats about them and laugh them off.

"There have been messages sent to the players, whoever has Instagram, Facebook, Twitter… they've received death threats, all of them. But those things are mind games, It's okay. The match is 11 against 11".

"I'm happy they're talking about, because if they don't talk about it I would think that it affects them. They know there will be lasers, I told them that there were lasers with Bafana and nothing happened. So let's go play."

Egyptian fans are notorious for their intimidating behaviour when their clubs host such major matches and one of the most recent incidents involving a South African team dates back to 2013, when Orlando Pirates took on the mighty Al Ahly in Cairo, also in the Champions League final.

The fans did everything possible to make the encounter a nightmare for the Pirates players, from using lasers, to distract them, to firing flares in the stadium and chanting at the very top of their voices.

Pirates lost that final 2-1 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate.

Similar scenes to what Pirates experienced will be expected on Sunday night, when the game kicks off at 8:30pm, but Mosimane is confident that his boys will rise above the hostility and bring the trophy home.

Should Sundowns be crowned the champions, they will become only the second team in the Southern African region to achieve the feat, after Pirates did it in 1995.

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