Mamelodi Sundowns MTN 8 opener against SuperSport United will take place on Sunday, 28 August at the University of Pretoria Campus. Masandawanaa will battle it out in the quarter-final of the competition at the TUKS Stadium against their cross-town rivals Matsatsantsa in what they are calling to be a #HomeComing encounter.
Downs Coach Rulani Mokwena is confident of maintaining their excellent performance from midweek victory, he said: “The players have been in this situation many times already, they’ve got the experience and I always say that the game belongs to the players and therefore the responsibility of putting in a very good performance is up to the players, and they know that. They’ve got the experience of performing in games like this and I am sure that we will give a very good performance on Sunday.”
The two sides previously met in the last season with Bafana Ba Style claiming an away league victory and a home win in the Nedbank Cup round of 32. The Tshwane derby is a fixture known to be one of the most entertaining goal-scoring fest, this time the battle will take place at the University grounds.
“We are happy to play there, for the direction that the club is taking, from a commercial and a marketing perspective. If you look at the average age of a Sundowns supporter you will see that many of them fall into that age category of scholars and tertiary education sort of citizens.”Said Coach Rulani.
“Therefore bringing that game to them and allowing them to be within walking distance to the stadium, making sure that they also get to witness and get a taste of watching their favorite club play it’s something that I think is a master stroke from the club and we are just very happy because also the field is relatively very good.”
The defending Champions have won three of their last five encounters, meanwhile the opponents have won just one game as the two sides head into this battle on the opposite sides of the confidence scale. Coach Rulani briefly outlined the playing style of United, he said: “It promises to be a very interesting game, a very good side with a very experienced coach, difficult to score [against], they don’t give you a lot of big chances.”
“You go to TS Galaxy, Orlando Pirates and Richards Bay, they score. They play very aggressive percentage football, they have a good striker in [Bradley] Grobler and it depends on who they partner him up with, if it’s a [Thabang] Sibanyoni who played in the last game he’s not going to play the next match and Aubrey Mngoma played as a 10.
“[Thamsanqa] Gabuza came in as a sub and did very, very well against Pirates and they played with that front four and maybe even Gamohani Lungu who I’ve seen [Wednesday] in last night’s match he played as a wingback. He could still bring Siya Nhlapho to the right back and then move Lungu upfront. [It’s a ] very difficult team, [they have] good and very strong three center backs with [Thulani Hlatswayo] Tyson, Luke Fleur’s and [Thatayaone] Dithlokwe.”
Mamelodi Sundowns lock horns with SuperSport United on Sunday in the MTN 8 quarter final at TUKS Stadium. Kick off is at 18H00, live on SuperSport.