Revenge‚ and the title‚ on Sundowns’ minds as they meet Wits

14 April 2018 - 11:50 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
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

The painful experience of losing the league title to Bidvest Wits at the back end of the last season will serve as motivation for Mamelodi Sundowns in their last five must-win matches according to skipper Hlompho Kekana.

The Brazilians are left with difficult assignments, starting with Wits at Loftus on Saturday evening and followed by Golden Arrows‚ Maritzburg United‚ Ajax Cape Town and Bloemfontein Celtic as they look to reclaim the Absa Premiership title.

Speaking as Downs prepared for the visit by Gavin Hunt and his men to the capital‚ in what promises to be a thrilling encounter‚ Kekana said his side had learned important lessons last season where they lost their way in the championship race by failing to collect maximum points when it mattered most.

“The way we lost our way in the title race last season was heartbreaking because we thought we deserved to win given the performances that we gave throughout the campaign‚” Sundowns’ classy defensive midfielder said.

“But it did not work out as we wished and largely due to the fact that we lost crucial matches in the closing stages of the season.

“We have learned from that experience – we want to leave nothing to chance this time around by ensuring that we win all our remaining matches.”

The way we lost our way in the title race last season was heartbreaking.

Kekana added that to beat Wits and register a league double over the Clever Boys this season would require Downs to be at their best.

“Playing against Bidvest Wits is always difficult‚ but we are playing at home and we hope to get all the three points‚” he said.

“This time of the season‚ the fact that we beat them in the first round doesn’t count for much if we don’t play to your potential on the day. It’s about who wants it more.

“Wits always fight hard and they don’t give you space to breathe.”

Kekana said the goalless draw between SuperSport United and Orlando Pirates has given Sundowns breathing space‚ but it will mean nothing if they don’t beat Wits.

“It was a fair result for us because if you look at the way things are on the log it favours us‚” the captain said.

“But‚ we need to continue winning matches and it does not mean that if we beat Wits we will be home and dry. We are okay but the most important thing is to win matches.”

Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane shared his captain’s sentiments that his side have to try and win their remaining matches to win the league.

“To win the league title‚ you need more than one point over the second-placed team. It has been a crazy season and I think we need to get what we need to win the title.

“We have Wits and we must pass them‚ which is not going to be easy. We must deal well with aerial balls and set pieces‚ we must be ready for that kind of a game‚” said Mosimane.

PSL this weekend:

Saturday:

Free State Stars v Bloemfontein Celtic (Goble Park‚ 6pm)

Mamelodi Sundowns v Bidvest Wits (Loftus Versfeld‚ 6pm)

Cape Town City v SuperSport United (Athlone Stadium‚ 8.15pm)

Sunday:

AmaZulu v Orlando Pirates (King Zwelithini Stadium‚ 3pm)

Baroka FC v Maritzburg United (Peter Mokaba Stadium‚ 3pm)

Chippa United v Ajax Cape Town (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium‚ 3pm)

Kaizer Chiefs v Platinum Stars (FNB Stadium‚ 3pm)


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