Johannesburg - Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi says they’ll treat their league clash against Cape Town City with “a lot of respect and humility” and they'll not read too much into their last meeting in the MTN8 final.
The Brazilians ended their hoodoo in the Wafa Wafa Cup last month after failing to clinch the title for 14 years. They beat City 3-2 in the final via the lottery of the penalty shootout after the game ended 1-all after 120 minutes.
Sundowns have put that triumph behind them and are now focusing on consolidating their position at the top of the DStv Premiership when they visit the DHL Stadium in Cape Town to take on City on Saturday afternoon (5pm kick-off time)
“We are facing a very good team. Very organised, very dangerous offensively. Very dangerous from transition to attack. But it’s a team that also has some defensive frailties that we can try and capitalise on,” Mngqithi said on Friday morning.
“But we are going to this game with a lot of respect and humility. The MTN8 result is history. It’s very important to go to this match with respect because they gave us a tough time in the MTN8. And based on that, we know what to expect.”
The two teams are refreshed and ready for the last stretch of the first half of the season after the two-week FIFA break. Before that, they produced contrasting results with Sundowns hammering Marumo Gallants, while City lost to AmaZulu.
That feat ensured that Sundowns continued their record-breaking run, and become the first top-flight side in history to go 11 matches without conceding a goal in the league.
“Maybe the break came at the right time for us. We had some small knocks. (Khuliso) Mudau and Rivaldo (Coetzee) had knocks. But the guys are back at training now. And we almost have a full-strength squad as it is,” he said.
“That puts us in a very tough position as coaches in terms of selection. But truth be told, it’s a group that has the capacity to help us get the results from this match. It will be a very tough one. We are playing against a very good team.”
He continued: “As Sundowns, all we want is to win, play good football; our type of football. But we must do that with a lot of respect for what the other teams are capable of. And that is basically what we have to guard against as a team.”
City, on the other hand, had players who were called up to their respective national teams for the World Cup qualifiers. Mduduzi Mdantsane, Fagrie Lakay and Terrence Mashego were called-up by Bafana coach Hugo Broos.
That’s why Mngqithi says that with the added experience they’ll be a tough nut to crack: “We know what they are capable of. But we also know what we are capable of. It’s going to be a nice game for the spectators. That is what I can tell you.”