Mamelodi Sundowns are gearing up to end off what has been a successful 2021/22 campaign in the best way possible as they look to claim the Nedbank Cup trophy in the final on Saturday. Masandawana come up against a resilient Marumo Gallants side who have over come all before them to reach the grand finale in South Africa’s premier cup competition.
Speaking ahead of the game, striker Thabiso Kutumela relefected on the journey he has been on with the team in his debut season at the club:
“Our journey as Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup this season has been a very good one. We have always taken it one game at a time,we were focused on winning each game as it came and we respected the opponent no matter where they were from, even a team from the SAB – we remained professional throughout.”
The Brazilians’ journey to the final has seen them face opposition from across the spectrum in South African football, including teams from the semi-professional ranks, the GladAfrica Championship and the DStv Premiership.
The cup run began with a Last 32 win in KZN where Bafana Ba Style laid down a marker by beating Richards Bay FC 4-0. Progression to the next round saw the team take on Mathaithai FC at the Lucas Moripe stadium in a match which saw Downs score seven against there opponents.
The quarter-final round was another home bout against Summerfield Dynamos which the Brazilians professionally won 6-0. The semi-final round proved to be the most testing as Sundowns were drawn against high-flying Royal AM at the Chatsworth Stadium. The action-packed affair ended in a 2-1 win in favour of Downs courtesy to goals from Aubrey Modiba – who was subsequently nominated as one of the player’s of the tournament – and Pavol Safranko, who has developed a knack for scoring in cup competitions.
“What I’ve learnt from the Nedbank Cup is that there’s no draws and teams can’t take one point each. There has to be a winner and if you respect your opponents whether they’re from the NFD and play according to the coaches instructions then you can win all the games and that’s how we were able to win our games to reach the final.” , said Kutumela on what he’s learned this season.
“What we have to do is to respect Marumo Gallants and not undermine them even though they haven’t managed to make it into the top 8 in the league. They’ve had a good season and were consistent in the Nedbank Cup, they are not here by luck they’ve worked hard. We have to respect them in order to win our game and take our chances.”
Kutumela himself has registered twice in the Ke Yona cup this season, a competition that has seen The Brazilians score 17 goals in 4 matches so far and has expressed his willingness and desire to contribute to the team’s success in the final:
“The goals I’ve scored so far in this tournament are a result of me wanting to earn a spot to play in the final. My goal is to score and create so that we can win this tournament. In the final, there has to be a winner, so I’m ready to do whatever it takes to help the team win this game so that we can win our third trophy this season and complete the domestic treble.”
Mamelodi Sundowns will gun for a historic domestic treble when they take on Marumo Gallants in the Nedbank Cup on Saturday 28 May at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium. The match will kick off at 18H00 and will be broadcast live on SuperSport Channel 202 and on SABC1.