The Head Coach of Ivorian side, Athletico FC’s Lancina Dao has confirmed that the host team of the 2023 CAF Women’s Champions League is under pressure to beat 2021 winners, Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies on Saturday.
Both sides will trade tackles at the Stade Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium, Korogho, Ivory Coast in one of the final Group A matches with Athletico FC in need of a win and favourable result in the game between JKT Queens and Sporting Club Casablanca to be able to qualify for the semi-final.
The 1992 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) winner opined that the Abidjan-based side is going to approach the match with total concentration.
“We are going to approach the task ahead with total concentration,” Dao told journalists during his pre-match press conference for the match.
Sundowns have booked a place in the semi-final and need to avoid defeat to top Group A.
He said: “We have to play the game and give it our all. Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies have already qualified and as you said generally we are under pressure. We are always under pressure.
“I don’t want to miss things up. As long as we have strength and health, we can do what we can. I am not a pessimistic person. As long as I have the necessary means, we will do our best to be able to win.
“You are going to see a totally different team against Sundowns. I promise you that this team is going to suffer any team that comes before us. We have another phase of our team. I think we are prepared for the next game.” He concluded.
The captain of the team, Stephanie Ange Darcy asserted that the team spirit in camp will propel Athletico FC to get the desired result on Saturday.
“In the first game, we gave all that we had and scored a goal. After they returned from the lockers, we conceded late. In the second game, because we gave our all in the first game, we were a little bit tired. Our opponents also wanted to win and had their fighting spirit in full swing. We have a good team spirit and will do our best to win the last group game and will come all out. In football, there is nothing that is impossible.” She concluded.
Sundowns go into the clash with less pressure following their two victories, while hosts Athletico Abidjan face elimination from the competition and are in desperate need of the three points.
With the backing of the crowd in Korhogo, Athletico will be hoping to pull a surprise against the tournament favourites, who are also looking at finishing the group stages with an impressive 100% win record.