Pieterse and Kekana React to Record Breaking Win Against Maritzburg

The newly crowned MTN8 Cup winners displayed consistency in their dominance on Wednesday evening when they pushed aside Maritzburg United at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in a 1-0 victory. Downs goalie Reyaad Pieterse kept a clean sheet, adding to the seven that were recorded prior to yesterday evening’s game. The feat meant that Mamelodi Sundowns have set a new record of clean sheets in the Premier Soccer League after amassing a total of eleven in a row, a run which dates back to last season.

Speaking after the game, Pieterse said: “I feel good, the team fought hard today, it wasn’t an easy game. I’m happy that the boys fought hard, we got a good goal and we build on this. I’m happy that we kept a clean sheet and that we broke a record today, eight clean sheets in a row, that’s a new record.  There was not too much work to do today, to be honest I must be very grateful to the defense in front of me, Grant [Kekana], Mosa [Lebusa], [Khuliso] Mudau and Divine [Lunga] were phenomenal aswell as AJ and Haashim.”

Pieterse praised his teammate Denis Onyango, who has enjoyed the most game time and recently led Masandawana to their first MTN8 Cup title with a stellar five penalty saves last weekend in Durban. Reyaad spoke on the importance of stepping up when called upon,given the form of his fellow teammates: “Denis has come in and done tremendously well,  myself, Kennedy [Mweene] and [Ricardo] Goss, just need to take over, pick up the baton and run with it and do as well as we can to assist the team, that’s the most important thing.”

“All credit to Denis, he’s a phenomenal player and a leader, he has set the bar really high  and to just follow in his footsteps and assist the team in however way I can, I will do so.”

Bafana Ba Style center half Grant Kekana reflected on the evenings encounter, saying that the team were aware of the demands that the midweek would have: “It wasn’t easy, we have just come off from a final victory, to come here three days later it was never going to be easy, there can be complacency creeping in but I don’t think we showed any of that today, we should be proud of ourselves.”

“We know that Maritzburg are hard to break down, it wasn’t one of our best games, it was a bit scrappy but we are going to find this type of games, especially in the second round of the season so we are just happy that we were able to win and we move forward on to the next game.”

The Brazilians are known for their goal scoring habits, averaging two goals per match played, Kekana revealed that featuring in more than one position is beneficial in helping the team win games.

“I felt like I was a striker even though I’m a defender for my team, but there’s gonna be days like that. We showed that we can also fight and we are not just a ball playing team, when it needs to be done and push comes to shove we can hold our own ground, big ups to the team, they showed a lot of character today.”

Grant also shared secrets on how his partnership in defense has been helping the team maintain clean sheets. He said, “The pairing also has to be great for the team, in the center we are the spine of the team, we have to stay as strong as possible together. It all boils down to training, we get used to each other during training sessions and it makes it easier coming into games like this.”

Mamelodi Sundowns next encounter is in Sunday against Marumo Gallants at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium.

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