After maintaining their perfect start to the DStv Premiership season thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 win over Orlando Pirates in midweek, Mamelodi Sundowns attention has now shifted to cup action.
The Brazilians square off against Kaizer Chiefs in the second leg of the MTN8 semifinal at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday.
Khuliso Mudau’s last-gasp equalizer secured a 1-1 draw during the first leg at FNB Stadium and Coach Rulani Mokwena believes the tie is far from over.
“It’s a small advantage, but it is an advantage that we worked very hard to get. However, it means nothing if we don’t perform in the second half, which consists of the next 90 minutes of the tie. We were pleased with the equalizer we achieved in the first leg. At Sundowns, our goal is always to try to win every game, regardless of the advantage or disadvantage we may have had. The attitude at this great club is always focused on winning and that is our mentality. We will strive to win the game on Saturday, even though it may be very challenging,” Coach Rulani stated.
The first leg saw 16-year-old Siyabonga Mabena thrown into the mix and the teenage sensation duly impressed. The Johannesburg-born tactician believes the young sensation is destined for big things.
“He is immensely talented and his genetics are ready-made for success. He is extremely fortunate to play at such a young age for such a great club, surrounded by great stars who are champions in their own right and that is important for his future. He also has talented players who play in and around his position, which can help him develop his game even further—players like Themba Zwane, Sipho Mbule, Marcelo Allende and Neo Maema. For sure, he gets to learn. I always plead for patience with young players in South African football and we should give them time to develop because the pressures they face can sometimes be unbearable.
Kaizer Chiefs come into Saturday’s fixture on the back of a three-game winless run – two draws and one defeat. Nevertheless, the Downs coach believes that Coach Molefi Ntseki’s side remains a formidable force.
“To be honest, they are a very good side with some excellent players who create lots of chances. They do very well with the ball from the wings and they are a threat any day, any time. Their midfield options are always strong as well, which gives them some form of dynamism, so we have to be well-prepared. I am sure they say the same about us and they should also be well-prepared to face us,” Coach Rulani added.
The clash between Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies and Kaizer Chiefs will take place on Saturday, September 23rd, at Lucas Moripe Stadium. The kick-off is scheduled for 15:00.