Johannesburg — Mamelodi Sundowns are not sweating over the fact that their defence has been breached in the last four matches. Instead, they are determined to score more than the opposition as that will ensure that they get the much-needed results.
The Brazilians are the team to beat in the top-flight. They are unbeaten in all 14 matches in the league, thanks to 10 wins and four draws. Their first two stalemates were goalless away from home to Chippa United and Cape Town City.
But after that match away to the Citizens, the Brazilians conceded their first goals of the season, drawing 2-2 with neighbours SuperSport United before conceding in the 1-1 draw with Stellenbosch and in the 3-2 win over Royal AM.
But the goals they conceded against SuperSport and Stellenbosch didn't dent their impressive record, though as co-coaches Manqoba Mngqithi and Rulani Mokwena were crowned the Coach of the Month for October/November in the top-flight.
“It’s not nice at Sundowns to draw a match, but it’s worse to lose. But the truth of the matter is that at a certain point in the league, you must expect that you can concede a goal,” said Mngqithi who was speaking after their coronation yesterday.
“And it was beginning to pile a lot of pressure on our system that we had not conceded a goal. At Sundowns we are an attacking team. And we must say that we’ll score more than the opponent. That’s primary (for us as an attacking team).”
Mngqithi added: “In as much as we have to work on our rest defence, how we counter-press and all things, minimise the chance of conceding goals, but we must understand that, as a team, we have a huge responsibility of scoring more goals.”
With their scoring prowess having taken them to the top of the standings with 34 points, 10 ahead of the second placed Sekhukhune United, Sundowns will be hoping to continue where they left off against SuperSport tomorrow night (8:15pm).
SuperSport have endured a rollercoaster campaign. But they’ll head to the Tshwane derby in Atteridgeville confident that they can get their second win in a row after beating strugglers Baroka FC 1-0 at New Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday.
“Next up is the derby against Sundowns. I think we’d have faced them twice in a space of a week. It will be tough game. When we played them the last time, we had a good start and conceded in critical phases,” said SuperSport coach Kaitano Tembo.
“We need to try and improve that defensively. Start with the same mentality we showed in the second half – where we came from two goals down to draw the game. We need to improve and have a good start. They are a good and well coached team.”
The two Tshwane giants have also been ruffled by the impact of a host of positive Covid-19 cases within their camps following the discovery of the new variant, Omicron. And that’s why they’ve been forced to alter their playing personnel.
With a thin squad at their disposal, unlike Sundowns, SuperSport has been forced to tap into their youngsters to form an 18-man match-day squad. But that has had it twists and turns, with Thalente Mbatha getting a red card on his debut.