JOHANNESBURG – Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane acknowledges that they’ll have to rectify their scoring woes if they are to get a positive result in their do-or-die clash against Cape Town City in the return leg of the MTN8 semi-final at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday (kick-off at 3pm).
Sundowns’ failure to score in their last three outings has been costly: they’ve bowed out of the CAF Champions League after a goalless draw against Horoya AC on Tuesday, while, they’ve now got to overturn a 1- 0 deficit that they suffered in the first leg against City.
“We are in the same situation as Tuesday’s game, where we have to score,” Mosimane said. “We haven’t been looking good in terms of taking chances that we create. But we have to be positive that we will score the goals on Sunday, which at the moment is a little bit of a mental issue. But even if we can create chances, when we don’t convert them, it doesn’t mean anything.”
The Brazilians’ lack of goals has resulted in striker Jeremy Brockie coming under fire for the numerous chances that he’s failed to put away. He is going to have to fire because anything less than a win at home won’t be enough for Sundowns to continue the chase for the only trophy that has eluded their cabinet.
“All the strikers have to come to the party, it’s been a while since most of them scored,” said Mosimane as he came to Brockie’s defence. “We brought him in to score but we can’t put him under pressure or stress. After all, we all know what happened in Polokwane (where Orlando Pirates' striker Thamsanqa Gabuza stormed off the pitch in frustration given the pressure from the fans), and we don’t want to repeat that. Sundowns is due for a win; it then becomes everyone’s responsibility to score.”
What bothers Mosimane the most, is that at Kaizer Chiefs his former players Khama Billiat and Leonardo Castro are now reaping the fruits of his hard-work. The duo, together with Dumisani Zuma, are probably the second best attacking department behind Bidvest Wits in top-flight football at the moment.
“I am a human being and bound to be jealous when I see them doing well,” Mosimane explained. “I worked hard to make that combination work - what’s short now is just Keegan Dolly to complete the CBD combination (Castro, Billiat and Dolly). But we have to move on. It’s true; we’ve struggled to find another combination. It’s a challenge but I will find it, it’s my job to.”
What makes their encounter against the Citizens trickier, is that the Capetonians take their opportunities up-front, and they’ll be more inspired by their midweek 2-2 draw against Free State Stars. City had rested some of the key players who will be fresh against the Brazilians.
“We hope to wrap it up at home,” Mosimane said. “It won’t be easy; we play a good team that can score. They rested some of their players, but that means they take this game seriously. We are not feeling good after our mid-week loss but we will try our best.”@Mihlalibaleka