Rhulani Mokwena cautions Mamelodi Sundowns not to be ‘lackadaisical’ against an improving Kaizer Chiefs side

Rhulani Mokwena says Mamelodi Sundowns cannot be complacent against Kaizer Chiefs. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Rhulani Mokwena says Mamelodi Sundowns cannot be complacent against Kaizer Chiefs. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Published Sep 22, 2023


Rhulani Mokwena has waved away suggestions Mamelodi Sundowns will be resting on their laurels ahead of their MTN8 semi-final second leg against Kaizer Chiefs.

Sundowns host Amakhosi at Lucas ‘Masterpieces’ Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville tomorrow, looking to finish off the job and book a place in the final.

Sundowns, fresh off a gruelling 1-0 Premiership win over Orlando Pirates on Wednesday night, switch their attention to building on a valuable stoppage-time away goal scored by Khuliso Mudau in the first leg two weeks ago, which secured a 1-1 draw.

Mokwena, who has suffered just a single loss in all competitions since taking over as Sundowns coach last October, said that although his side are aware of their slight advantage ahead of the second leg, it will not play any part in how they approach the match.

“Of course it’s a small advantage, but it’s an advantage we worked very hard to get. But it means nothing if you don’t pitch in the second half (leg), and we see the next 90 minutes as the second half,” Mokwena said yesterday.

“We want to try to win every match at Mamelodi Sundowns, regardless of whatever advantage or disadvantage we may have. If the score had stayed at 1-0 and we had not found the equaliser, the attitude would still be, ‘We need to win.’”

Sundowns are currently on a 31-match unbeaten run in all competitions – the joint longest run in PSL history, alongside Chiefs.

In Chiefs, they face despondent opponents who are struggling to return to their former glory, while a continuous battle between the club’s management and supporters rages on.

However, Mokwena raised caution against taking on a “lackadaisical“ approach against Chiefs, as he views Molefi Ntseki’s team as dangerous opposition.

“It’s going to be very difficult, contrary to what the results may suggest. We are playing against a very good side, a very improved Kaizer Chiefs team,” he said.

Sundowns and Chiefs will meet for the third time already this season, with the Brazilians having the psychological edge over their opponents, having beaten them in the Premiership.

When quizzed about the complex nature of facing a team a number of times in a short period, Mokwena refused to make excuses, and instead raised an appetite for their next match.

“It’s a football fixture that we have to deal with. It’s nothing new,” he said.

“Many have dealt with it and done very well, so we just need to handle it the best way we know how.

“We had a similar situation last year with Pirates in a short space of time, so we relish the opportunity and the test.”