NEWS

Downs Want Ticket To Champs League Once More

26/May/2017 17:31

Mamelodi Sundowns returned triumphantly on Thursday from the Democratic Republic of Congo following a classic display of football against AS Vita Club, who they thrashed 3-1 in  a CAF Champions League clash.

But they had to knuckle down to prepare for another critical clash – this time to get second spot in the league and qualify for next year’s Champions League.

They take on a desperate Highlands Park, who are fighting for their lives in the Premier Soccer League.  The Lions of the North must win, and then hope that other teams in the relegation dog fight slip up.

For the Brazilians, Cape Town City are waiting in the wings on third position, and hope the Tshwane Giants slip up so they can snatch second position and the Champions League slot- which would be a massive achievement for a team in its maiden league campaign.

So when the Brazilians take on Highlands at the Makhulong Stadium, it won’t be a dead rubber just because the league championship is done and dusted. It will be a critical six pointer.

Highlands have only played Sundowns twice, and failed to score in both games even though they stretched the champions into extra time to lose 1-0 in a Cup game.

But in their first league clash, they were hammered 5-0, but that score will count for nothing on Saturday. This game will be like a knockout.

Highlands have put in some gritty displays in recent weeks, but only have a victory over Chippa and a goalless draw against Orlando Pirates and Baroka, and a 1-1 draw against Bloemfontein Celtic to show for it. They have lost to Platinum Stars, Wits and Ajax.

What must be of concern to their technical team is the fact that they have only scored two goals in their last seven games. They must be asking themselves where the goals will come from, and hope that Zambian hit man Collins Mbesuma will find his scoring boots against a team he has played for. They will also hope that Surprise Moriri can still weave his magic to save them.  And that another former Downs man Lindokuhle Mbatha can get among the goals.

Sundowns, on the other hand, will relish this clash as an away game. In their last six games, they have not won, drawing all their fixtures, at what last season was their slaughterhouse. Their two victories were both away, against Orlando Pirates and AS Vita Club.

And if they can replicate the form they showed in DRC, they should be able to dispose of Highlands.

Coach Pitso Mosimane will have one major concern – the long injury list. Whether he risks Khama Billiat, who was left out of the team that did battle in the DRC, through injury, remains to be seen. More battles are looming for the African champions and the coach might decide to keep the front line he used in the Congo –  Yannick Zakri, Percy Tau, and behind them Anthony Laffor , Sibusiso Vilakazi, and Themba Zwane.

With Zakri hitting form, having scored in all three games he featured in recently, Mosimane might prefer him as he is suspended for the next Champions League clash, asking him to give this game full blast without holding anything back.

Vilakazi also seems to be slowly finding his feet, and scored in the Congo to boot. Captain Hlompho Kekana who was on the bench in DRC will most likely return, and Tiyane Mabunda could make a return from injury.

Tebogo Langerman, Kekana, Tau, Themba Zwane and Vilakazi have been included in new Bafana coach Stuart Baxter’s team to face Nigeria next month , so their fixture calendar will not be getting any easier, but for now, their focus will be on Saturday’sgame.

They want to do well and be in next year’s Champions League, so for Mosimane’s boys, it’s a must win against Highlands.

19 Responses to Downs Want Ticket To Champs League Once More

  1. Ncamisowaledowns says:

    Go get them boys and hey Downs open your eyes and fix Maripe Stadium sth is wrong there

  2. Jordaozinho says:

    We believe in you boys, go get them

  3. MANKERS says:

    Pls can someone clarify for me here guys, did Mbesuma ever played for Sundowns or our webmaster is just confused? Go for it guys and good luck on your last Psl match, a win will built a surpeb momentum for the CCL.

    Yellow Remain

  4. Thulas says:

    Yes Mankers he played with the likes of Rhee Zuma and Tso Vilakazi. Go for them boys.We are behind you all the way.I hope the team keeps Thabo Ntethe for two more seasons to mentor Madisha for that key central defensive position.

  5. THULAS UR RIGHT MR COOL NTHETE DESERVES NEW CONTRACT 4 MADISHA TO LEARN MORE FRM HIM TO OUR EVER COMMITTED PLAYERS & TECHNICAL TEAM THANK YOU GUYS FOR THE EFFORT YOU HAVE SHOWN IN THE 2016/17 SEASON, @WORK THEY RESPECT ME BECAUSE OF YOU &LASTLY THANK YOU TO OUR PRESIDENT MR PATRICE MOTSEPE AND HIS WONDERFUL FAMILY FOR THE LOVE YOU HAVE GIVEN TO US MASANDAWANA TRULY THE SKY IS THE LIMIT. FRM SAM Z MAHLASE

  6. OOPS WE WILL BE UNFAIR MASANDAWANA IF WE FAIL TO ALSO THANK OUR WEBMASTERS FOR THE SPLENDID JOB THEY’RE DOING IN INFORMING US ABT OUR TEAM, LETS NOT CRITICISE ONLY BT ALSO GIVE CREDIT WHERE IS DUE & LASTLY ALL DE BRANCHES THAT CAME TO THE GAMES SINGING THEIR LUNGS OUT, THANK YOU GUYS. DAWN PARK BRANCH YOO GUYS U ROCK MY BRANCH GRTER SPRINGS WE’RE COMING TRULY THE SKY IS THE LIMIT. FRM SAM Z MAHLASE

  7. a chance for billiat to score 8 goals as long as they provide him with killer passes. Amen

  8. malefetsane mofokeng says:

    already got that second spot

  9. Mike says:

    Go for it yellow machine,we need to end the Season on a high.All the best soldiers of football, behind you all the way.l love the yellow machine so much, lam hoping that we don’t sign anyone this time but promote from our development. Those guys show the hunger and excitement to do the job for us.

  10. sabby says:

    Habashwee! Banna ba Baloyi Highlands Park must go back to NFD.

  11. Skhu says:

    Good luck guys

  12. Mfana says:

    Congrats to the team &the boys,I’ve got a cold blood when it comes to the champions league next year Sundowns players r very exhausted how r we going to cope,with so many injuries.But like soldiers,we will do our best.What a year it was looking at what we achieve so far we shud give our selves a big round of applause for a job well done.We can’t question the Almighty for choosing Wits as the champions this year.On our sides we must congratulate them(Wits).We salute you all the Yellow Nation,Kaboyelo everywhere.

  13. mandla weSundowns says:

    Our defending though, Masandawana, really that second Parks goal similar to that of PMB last week

  14. dion says:

    I’m happy for the second spot to show that we were defending champions God loves us all and I’m concern about our goalkeeper Onyango when it comes to set piece he’s inconsistent the second goal for highland park its the same goal against baroka he goes out of his poles unsure that he’s going to handle the ball, Pitso must recall Thela Ngobeni. KBY Family let’s go to Lucas Moripe on Friday yo support our team against Esperance.

  15. Evidence says:

    PLZ COACH sign Mvala Mthobi, the guy is versatile as he plays as CM Or a strike.. He is 23 yrs old, he is SA citizen..

  16. kick boboza says:

    Our DEFENCE IS NOT OK.Masandawana

    • mashasha says:

      Our defence surely they can do better than that. It kills the moral to concede the way we have.Defenders wins championship and strikers wins you games.next season we need to pay serious attention into a dying moment of the games.We have pay a big price this season allready

  17. simanga hadebe batned says:

    At least the league is over now, there is no fixture congestion, the team can have good preparations for each game they play

  18. INSIMBI.ZN says:

    I’m appealing to Mr Jonh Pitso Mosimane and Management to acquire the service of Rivaldo coetrzee and promote two promising center back from diski team because our defence is weak also buy another quality goalkeeper who will compete with Vala Mnyango then we will be sorted out