Johannesburg — Mamelodi Sundowns’ co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has reiterated that they play every game to win, and that’s why they’ll not leave any stone unturned when they host Summerfield Dynamos in the Nedbank Cup quarter-final on Saturday afternoon.
The Brazilians have been on a roll this season. They are on course to claim a quadruple as they are at the top of the league table, in the Nedbank Cup and CAF Champions League quarter-final, while they won the MTN8 late last year.
Since returning from the Fifa window, Sundowns have recorded back-to-back wins in the Champions League and the league.
They trounced Al Merrikh 3-0 at the FNB Stadium to end the group stage of the continental showpiece with a 100% undefeated record and the most points (16) across the four groups.
They also extended their lead at the top of the log standings to 11 points after hammering Swallows FC 4-2 away in Soweto on Tuesday night.
However, the Brazilians will meet a different kettle of fish in Dynamos who are plying their trade in the lower ranks of South African football, the ABC Motsepe League, where they’ve won the regional league in KwaZulu Natal.
But that doesn’t move Mngqithi who says they won’t underestimate Dynamos.
“It’s very difficult to rest players when you are going for a cup match,” Mngqithi said.
“You try that and take the risk sometimes but you don’t want it to backfire. In as much as in the book we are playing an ABC Motsepe team but the truth of the matter is we've got a team that has a lot of PSL players and that says we must take them very seriously.
“We treat every match with the respect that it requires and we try the best that we can to rotate our squad as much as we can. But I am fortunate with the coaches that I work with that we try to bring the best team that we think can help us win the match.”
Dynamos are coached by Clinton Larsen, who’s had numerous stints in the top-flight before.
However, in his build-up comments for this clash, the former Bloemfontein Celtic coach said they’ll be no match for the four-time South African premier club knockout competition winners.
But Mngqithi said those were mind games.
“One thing I can tell you about football, there’s no game that you go to play as a coach or team not thinking of seeing a possibility that you can steal it,” he said.
“When Clinton says they stand no chance and you listen to that you’ll be fooled. The truth of the matter is that when he was coaching Celtic, he’d come with a very low block against us, and try to frustrate us as much as possible and steal the result in the end.”
Sundowns’ clash against Dynamos will be the first domestic game where they’ll welcome back 50% of their supporters to the stadium since they were bar two years amid the outbreak of Covid-19.
But most of their faithful are expected to fill the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Tuesday when they host Golden Arrows in the league. This match will also serve as a rehearsal before they travel to Angola to face Petro de Luanda in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final.