DURBAN – Lamontville Golden Arrows are eyeing yet another upset against the reigning Absa Premiership champions, Mamelodi Sundowns, when the sides meet tomorrow at 3pm in an MTN 8 quarter-final at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Masandawana have four points from a 1-1 stalemate against Kaizer Chiefs and a 2-0 victory at Polokwane City.
Clinton Larsen, coach of Arrows, is hoping that luck will be on his side.
“There’s no pressure this weekend because we are playing Sundowns. No one is giving us a chance against a very powerful Sundowns team. We will go out there and put a good fight. We are hoping to do what we did against them in the Nedbank Cup (in 2016/17) and cause an upset.
We want to go to the final in this cup. It is three games then you are in a final. Getting over this hurdle is the most important thing,” Larsen said after his side’s 2-0 defeat against Bloemfontein Celtic in KwaMashu on Wednesday.
They will have to be at their best if they want to get the better of Sundowns.
“We’ve planned well against them in the past. We will do the same. We’ve two days to plan and plot their downfall. Hopefully we will come up with a very good plan that can get us the edge over them,” he added.
Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane rotated his squad in the two previous matches but Larsen is not fazed by that.
“I don’t think it makes such a difference. If it is not Lyle Lakay, it is Tebogo Langerman. If it’s not Hlompho Kekana, it is Tiyani Mabunda. We might read what changes they might make. Same thing on the right hand side. It’s either they play Anele Ngcongca or Morena (Thapelo).
We know if a certain player is not playing who will probably come in. Regardless of who plays we all know the quality they have. It is going to be tough but these are the type of games we always look forward to. Nobody gives us a chance,” Larsen said.
Larsen has the reputation of beating Sundowns in crunch matches. In 2015, he rolled past Sundowns in the quarter-final of the MTN 8 when he was still at Celtic.
He also dumped Masandawana in the last 16 of the Nedbank Cup in 2016/17.
“Maybe it is just luck that I get good results against them. We are hoping for more luck. We’ve got to go out there and give our best shot. We want to try and get into this final. We know that our chances of competing for league honours are minimal. These are big opportunities if we want to compete for silverware. We will try our best,” he continued.
Mosimane always teases Larsen about parking the bus.
“That approach has changed with the players that we’ve brought in. We have the likes of Danny Venter, Siboniso Conco and young Sabelo (Siphamandla). We’ve got different types of players. We had a very defensive team when we started. We didn’t have the likes of Venter and Jabulani Shongwe who left the club. I don’t think you guys saw us parking the bus today (Wednesday) and on the weekend against Maritzburg,” Larsen explained.
Sundowns have won all the domestic trophies under Mosimane’s tenure except the MTN 8. They will want to get the monkey of their back by going all the way. On the other hand Abafana Bes’thende will hope to repeat their magic of 2009 which saw them being crowned the MTN 8 champions.