Johannesburg – Striker Katlego Mashego believes Mamelodi Sundowns are determined to set the record straight against Platinum Stars, in a bid to prove Stars are no longer the Brazilians' “bogey team”.
“It's going to be a difficult game, we're playing away and against a team that's on cloud nine now,” Mashego said ahead of their Telkom Knockout quarterfinal clash in Moruleng, near Rustenburg, on Saturday.
“They've just won a Cup so anything is possible but Platinum Stars have been a bogey team for Sundowns, so it's about time that ends.”
The two teams had already met once this season in a Premiership clash which ended in a 1-1 stalemate at the end of August. The result of which prompted Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane to call Stars his “hoodoo team”.
Mosimane's frustrations were justified as Sundowns extended their poor run of results to seven games since last claiming a victory over the team which beat Orlando Pirates to lift the MTN8 trophy three weeks ago.
“We were so close to beating them in the league, but they came up with a draw. I don't see that happening again,” Mashego said.
“This is a Cup game and it's a once off game. So you have to go all out and you have to do whatever you can to win it in 90 minutes.
“It's going to be a team effort and we're hoping to achieve what we want – and that is to be in the next round.”
In their last seven meetings, Sundowns had drawn four games, and lost the other three, including a 1-2 Nedbank Cup quarterfinal defeat last season.
Sundowns, however, were heading into Saturday's clash brimming with confidence, courtesy of a 4-0 drubbing over Bloemfontein Celtic, booking their spot in the last eight of the knockout competition.
“Sundowns is a winning team, it's a team that always want to challenge, it's a team that always want to win the league,” Mashego said.
“I know what Sundowns want to achieve and glad I'm there to help.
“With the players we have and the mentality we have, I think it's going to be different this time around.”
Meanwhile, Platinum Stars' Patrick Malokase said he was looking forward to continuing the trend of solid results against their more-fancied opponents, and pointed out his team were also looking at the bigger picture.
“We want to do well in this cup as well and to move through to the next round, we have to beat Mamelodi Sundowns,” Malokase said.
“Knowing we haven't lost to Sundowns in a long time is motivation for us and we hope to continue that trend.
“At Stars, our aim is not only to beat Sundowns but to win every game we play.”
The fixture would see the two in-form sides of the Premiership pitted against each other, with Sundowns yet to be defeated this season across all competitions. The team from the North West would be looking to add another trophy to their cabinet, having already tasted cup success this season. – Sapa