What a contrast! In the Telkom Knockout final but also bottom of the Absa Premiership table.
That’s the bitter-sweet story of Mamelodi Sundowns, who are looking to make their way up the Absa Premiership table. Though the Brazilians were all smiles at the weekend after advancing to the final of the Telkom Knockout, underneath those smiles was worry, thanks to their poor league form.
The latest hero at Chloorkop, Eleazer Rodgers, whose strike against SuperSport United sent Sundowns to the final, says Johan Neeskens’ side has to seriously move from the basement.
Sundowns host AmaZulu in a league encounter at Loftus Versfeld tomorrow night.
“The win against SuperSport was a big boost for all the players in terms of confidence. Our focus has now shifted to the league match against Amazulu. We will only think about the final on the week of that match,” said Rodgers.
In AmaZulu, Sundowns meet fellow strugglers who have also found the going tough this season. AmaZulu are third from bottom with two points separating them from Sundowns. Rodgers is confident Sundowns can see off AmaZulu tomorrow night.
“We have not turned the corner yet. We have to focus on getting Sundowns in a more respectable place on the log table. In order to achieve that, we have to start winning league matches. I am quite confident though that we will start doing well in the league as well. We have been unlucky not to win our last couple of matches, because I believe we played well and were the better team,” said the former Santos man.
So far this season, Rodgers has managed to score twice in cup matches but he is still looking for his first goal in the league. With expectations high on Rodgers, his lack of goals has led to some fans booing him in matches. Now that he has scored an important goal against SuperSport, chances are Rodgers’ appetite for goals has soared.
“I’m happy to have scored my second goal for the club and I hope to score more. Since this is a league match, it will be much better if we score more than just one goal. I know my job is to score goals, but when I don’t score I have to at least contribute to the team doing well,” said the former South African youth international.
That they have reached the final is likely to be a huge motivation for Sundowns going into tomorrow’s match. However, it may not be an easy task to get maximum points against AmaZulu who are also desperate for points.