D'Alessandro warned to keep his cool

ABU DHABI - Internacional's hot-headed Argentine playmaker Andres D'Alessandro must keep his cool in the face of possible heavy marking by TP Mazembe's in their Club World Cup semi-final on Tuesday, coach Celso Roth said.

The Brazilian side, holders of South America's Libertadores Cup, will be looking to reach their second final when they clash with the African champions from the DR Congo at Mohammad bin Zayed stadium.

Mazembe, playing in their second consecutive Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi, upset Mexico's Pachuca 1-0 on Friday to reach the semi-finals but picked up a red card and had another three players booked.

"D'Alessandro is not a kid any more but he's impetuous and he has some problems in certain situations," Roth told a news conference on Monday.

Roth pointed out, though, that the 29-year-old had gained a new maturity and was back in the Argentina team.

"He knows he cannot enter into the provocation game...He watched the Pachuca game (against Mazembe) and he knows not to retaliate against anybody."

Mazembe's Senegalese coach Lamine N'Diaye had earlier been asked what preparations his team were making for possible provocation from the Brazilian side.

"It's not our main quality to go in kicking... We do not give out instructions to break our opponents or harden the game. We're here to play football," he said.

"We won't change our style of play...We try to keep the players calm but we don't think at all about (opponents' provocation)."

KEY MINUTES

Roth said the opening minutes were key. Mazembe scored after 21 minutes against Pachuca.

"Mazembe attacked right away, they got to Pachuca's area quickly, we have to bear that in mind," he said.

"We need to control our anxiety. We must be 100 percent concentrated because there is no afterwards.

"Pachuca went into their match as favourites and that's the big danger, we have to be wary of being surprised."

Roth said there was still a difference between European and South American teams and those from the other FIFA confederations but that the gap was becoming narrower.

"It's no novelty that African football has progressed," said Roth.

"What stands out about Mazembe is their collective strength. They have good, technical players and a lot of tactical discipline. That's what surprised Pachuca."

Mazembe are bidding to become the first African team to beat a South American side in the competition.


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