Downs set for big test against Grobler’s Supersport

Captain Onismor Bhasera of Supersport United. | BackpagePix

Captain Onismor Bhasera of Supersport United. | BackpagePix

Published Mar 12, 2024


Smiso Msomi

SuperSport United are expected to be excited at the prospect of ending rivals Mamelodi Sundowns DStv Premiership invincibility.

The Brazilians and Matsatsantsa will collide at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium tonight (7.30pm) in another instalment of the Tshwane derby. Sundowns, as expected, have run through most teams put in front of them in the Premiership on their way to opening up a 12-point gap at the top of the standings.

Coach Rulani Mokwena has seen his team win 14 of the 17 matches they’ve played so far with the other three ending in draws. However, Mokwena will remember that their next opponents are one of just two teams that beat Sundowns last season, a slip-up they’ll be eager to avoid.

Captain Onismor Bhasera of Supersport United. | BackpagePix

SuperSport United veteran and captain Onismor Bhasera spoke ahead of their battle against Sundowns and revealed his expectations of the match.

“Going into a Tshwane derby like this one, we are looking forward to it and the guys know the importance of the game and the fact that we need points so it’s going to be very important (we win),” he said.

“But you know how derbies are, it’s all about the best team on the day, we have to make sure that we maintain our bar and apply ourselves very well as per the coach’s instruction. I think we could come out of the match with something.”

Matsatsantsa have conceded in each of their last 20 matches in all competitions, leaking 30 goals in that period, a trend they want to buck against Sundowns

“Of course, there’s gonna be goals but in the last few games we’ve struggled to keep clean sheets so it will be something that we’ll make a point to do on the night, we are always scoring so a clean sheet is top of the list.”

Grant Kekana of Mamelodi Sundowns. | BackpagePix

On the other side of town, former Matsatsantsa man Grant Kekana echoed the sentiments of Bhasera in affirming the unpredictable nature of the derby.

“With derbies, the form doesn’t count, it’s all about who wants it on the day so we have to make sure we are switched on from the first minute to the last but it’s something we’re ready for,” he said.

Although Sundowns will head into this encounter as the favourites, Kekana revealed that he and his teammates are well aware of SuperSport’s dangermen and will keep a close eye on them.

“We know Bradley Grobler has been doing very well and he’s been scoring lots of goals. He wants to be up there with the top scorers in the league, we know (Terrence) Dzvukamanja with his late runs as well as Lyle Lakay with his crossing.

“They have a lot of threats in different areas so we’ll need to nullify those and make sure we don’t give them too many opportunities.”