Petro de Luanda face a massive task when they travel away to Pretoria to take on Mamelodi Sundowns in the return fixture of the African Football League (AFL) quarter final on Tuesday.
Petro have a 2-0 deficit from the first leg played in Luanda, and have to win the game by a margin of more than three goals to make it to the semi-finals. A 2-0 win will push the game to penalties, but the biggest strategy for the Angolan champions will be finding a way not to concede.
Head coach Alexander Santos will have his work cut out in Pretoria, and knows it will not be an easy challenge.
“We need to be sharper infront of goal, and make use of our chances. It is never easy playing away from home but we are confident we can get the job done,” said the tactician, after his side’s defeat at home.
Petro had a myriad of chances to score against Sundowns at home, including a penalty, but the brilliance of keeper Ronwen Williams kept them out for most of the game.
Heading into the return tie, the tactician might make some changes in his forward line, and an expected one is to see club captain Tiago Azulao starting.
The Brazilian came off the bench in the first leg, and with goals surely needed in Pretoria, Santos will call on his most experienced forward.
Meanwhile, Sundowns approach the match with less pressure. Any draw or a loss of less than three goals will be enough for them to make the semi-finals.
However, coach Rulani Mokwena says the tie is far from over, and pointed out they will approach the return leg with a 0-0 mentality.
The tactician gave an example of his side’s defeat against TS Galaxy in the Carling Black Label Cup in South Africa, where they came from 2-0 down to tie the game 2-2 but lost on penalties.
He has challenged his players to ensure their concentration levels are high throughout the match.
The last visit by Petro to Sundowns was in April 2022, with the game ending 1-1.