Sundowns wary of Maritzburg forwards Rusike and Fileccia

12 December 2017 - 14:53 By Marc Strydom
Pitso Mosimane (Coach), Hlompho Kekana, Tebogo Langerman and Tiyani Mabunda of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates a goal during the Absa Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns at Orlando Stadium on November 01, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Pitso Mosimane (Coach), Hlompho Kekana, Tebogo Langerman and Tiyani Mabunda of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates a goal during the Absa Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns at Orlando Stadium on November 01, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Mamelodi Sundowns are wary of Maritzburg United’s counterattack‚ and their dangerous striking duo of Evans Rusike and Andrea Fileccia‚ Brazilians captain Hlompho Kekana has said.

Absa Premiership leaders Downs meet eighth-placed Maritzburg‚ who have been tough to beat for the Pretoria giants in recent times‚ at Loftus Versfeld on Wednesday night (kickoff: 7.30pm).

Downs coach Pitso Mosimane has complained about the team from KwaZulu-Natal capital Pietermaritzburg parking the bus‚ most recently after United beat the Brazilians 1-0 in the MTN8 in Pretoria in August.

Maritzburg drew home and away against Sundowns in the league last season.

“Playing against Maritzburg is always difficult for us. They play on the break every time‚” Kekana said.

“So for us it’s always tough and playing at home the expectations are always high that we should win the match. But as players we know it’s not going to be easy.

“We are aware of how they play and of their danger men‚ especially their strike force‚ Rusike and Fileccia.

“Obviously we have to give them respect. They won their last match with a big margin.

“To prevent them from playing well we have to make sure that we close them down. Maybe we close them from playing their normal game.

“And hopefully we come up with the goal that we need to win the match.”

Downs have three matches left in 2017. They follow the meeting against Maritzburg with fixtures‚ both at Loftus‚ against Bloemfontein Celtic on Saturday and Cape Town City on Tuesday‚ December 19.

The Brazilians (22 points from 11 games)‚ who have three matches in hand over second-placed Orlando Pirates (20 points) and third-placed Kaizer Chiefs (19)‚ will aim to open a commanding gap at the top by Christmas.


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