Sundowns seek pick-me-up against Galaxy

Rulani Mokwena might have to rethink his tactical approach after Mamelodi Sundowns failed to progress to the CAF Champions League final. Photo: BackpagePix

Rulani Mokwena might have to rethink his tactical approach after Mamelodi Sundowns failed to progress to the CAF Champions League final. Photo: BackpagePix

Published Apr 29, 2024



IF FOOTBALL that is pleasing to the eye does not deliver the requisite victory, there surely is no reason to persist with it, is there?

Rulani Mokwena could well have to reconsider his being ‘married’ to what he believes is not only ‘the Mamelodi Sundowns way’ but also his family’s approach to football if he is to deliver the CAF Champions League trophy to Chloorkop as he has promised.

Rivaldo Coetzee cannot hide his disappointment after Mamelodi Sundowns lost to Esperance this past weekend. | BackpagePix

Beaten yet again in the semi-final of the continent’s premier club knockout competition via a 2-0 aggregate loss to Esperance of Tunisia, Mokwena will go back for yet another attempt next year as he is sure to deliver the DStv Premiership title for the Brazilians.

He perhaps has a brilliant opportunity to try out different styles at the Fifa Club World Cup Sundowns qualified for as there they are likely to meet much stronger opposition that could demand that they even park the bus. A fan of Jose Mourinho, Mokwena would not be too wrong to ditch attacking football for a much more defensive system, would he?

That, though, is for much later. For now, bet on the young coach to persist with the aesthetics of possession football that relies on building from the back and patiently working at and waiting for the opposition to crack open.

Sundowns are sure to go that route tonight when they take on TS Galaxy in a needle league clash that sees Mokwena coming up against Sead Ramovic for the first time since their highly publicised spat following the drama-filled Carling Knockout clash.

Mosa Lebusa says the mood in the camp is understandably a bit low after the Champions League exit. But they are not going to allow that to stop them from maintaining their unbeaten run in the league.

Thapelo Morena of Mamelodi Sundowns. | BackpagePix

If anything, the defender says Sundowns will look to take out the pain of that loss to Esperance on Galaxy.

“We were sad after exiting the Champions League, but we have picked ourselves up and we have to finish the league, and everyone is fully focused on the upcoming games. We are looking forward to our next game and looking to redeem ourselves. We have to win the league.”

Three points over a Galaxy side that are doing well and are fifth on the table will see Sundowns edging ever so close to retaining their championship title.

“They are one of the teams we have not played this season in the league. We played them only in the Carling (Knockout),” Lebusa said of that match which Galaxy won via a penalty shoot-out. Sundowns’ Bongani Zungu broke Bernard Parker’s leg in that match to help spark serious animosity between the two coaches.

It will be interesting to see how Mokwena and Ramovic behave tonight. Not that Lebusa cares about that. He and the team are solely focused on winning.

“They (Galaxy) are in a good position and mathematically they can still catch us (on league points), but we are playing (at) home tomorrow, and I don’t think it is possible. You know what happens with a wounded animal, we are going to go all out and attack.”

The match starts at 7.30pm.