Animal Farm dogma underpins Sundowns' success, CT City still battling MTN8 angst
Share this article:
Cape Town – Mamelodi Sundowns boast a fair share of 'big-name' players but co-coach Rulani Mokwena has assured that all players are equal ahead of the team's DStv Premiership match on Sunday against Marumo Gallants FC at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane (start 5.30pm).
Cape Town City also have a Sunday evening clash when they visit Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban, to play Benni McCarthy's ailing AmaZulu, who have gone winless in their last two Premiership outings.
City manager says his players are still suffering from an MTN8 Cup final hang-over, even after their midweek match that they fortuitously won 2-1 against Chippa United.
Mokwena is becoming SA football's bibliographic as he dips into reference works to explain situations. After Sundowns' slender 1-0 win over Maritzburg United in a midweek clash, Mokwena referred to the famous George Orwell novel Animal Farm at the post-match presser to explain there are no prima donnas at Sundowns.
“It is a complete team performance," said Mokwena. "No man is an island at Sundowns. No one is more important than the other because the team is not a club established on the principles of Animal Farm.
“We are all just as important in giving our best. I hope we can give lots of credit to this fantastic group of players.
“We want to create a team that is difficult to play against where people don’t enjoy playing against us.
"We need good players to get good results, and we have them. It is going to be a difficult season going forward - a lot of teams are getting better.”
Sundowns are hardly likely to work up a sweat against the winless Gallants, who are still seeking their maiden Premiership win this season. Eight matches into the season, they have a meagre four points from as many draws.
Gallants had an outing on Thursday at the King Goodwill Zwelithini Stadium and held AmaZulu to a goalless draw, but they will be buoyed they enjoyed the best scoring chances in the match.
Towards the end of the match, star midfielder Celimpilo Ngema had a gilt-edged chance to clinch a result, but he shot straight at AmaZulu shot-stopper Veli Mothwa.
Everything points to another win for the defending champions as they look to enforce their supremacy in the Premiership, en route to a fifth consecutive title.
Meanwhile, McCarthy has not been too pleased with AmaZulu’s nomadic existence as they use three venues for home matches. Apart from the King Goodwill Zwelithini Stadium, AmaZulu have also played at the Moses Mabhida Stadium and Jonsson Kings Park.
“As a club, you look to have stability and you can’t move from one venue to the next," said McCarthy.
"We play games at Moses Mabhida one week, and then we move to Jonsson Kings Park, and then King Zwelithini. It is destabilizing.
"We have never played here (King Goodwill Zwelithini Stadium), and then you ask us to win home matches. As much as it is in Durban, it is a pitch that we have used for the first time this season.
"Home is advantage gone. It is already out of the window, and then you have the debacle that happened yesterday (on Wednesday when the game was abandoned)."
McCarthy will be hoping his team will return to winning ways at the expansive Moses Mabhida Stadium against City, his former team, the MTN8 runners-up.
City manager Eric Tinkler said his players were still suffering from Cup final heartbreak.
“Physically it was always going to be difficult for the players, considering how we lost the final,” said Tinkler. “You could see the effects of the loss at training this week."
The team that best capitalises on scoring chances will be the winner in this clash of mid-table sides. It will be the final Premiership clash before the season breaks for the international window.