Pitso looks to end Cup drought
Johannesburg - Having gone five years without any silverware, Mamelodi Sundowns boss Pitso Mosimane is adamant his Pretoria outfit will do everything they can to win the Nedbank Cup, starting with a quarterfinal victory over Platinum Stars on Sunday.
The Brazilians have to go back to 2008, under Trott Moloto, when they last lifted a trophy the Nedbank Cup - beating Mpumalanga Black Aces to claim the R6 000 000 first prize, while finishing runners-up last season, after SuperSport United defeated Johan Neeskens' side 2-0 at the Orlando Stadium.
Five years and seven coaches later, Sundowns look primed to raise the trophy once more, after their league campaign looks set for a mediocre mid-table finish, allowing the former giants to focus all their attention on the knockout cup.
"We are going to concentrate on this cup," Mosimane said ahead of the clash at Loftus Versfeld on Sunday.
"We do not need to worry or be distracted by the league. The Nedbank Cup means a lot to us. I want to go into Africa, it's important for us to be there."
The ever-wily Mosimane insisted before the clash that Sundowns were underdogs heading into the game, believing that Stars held the advantage due to their attacking mentality.
"We are underdogs going in this game. We are playing a very good team that has a good coach [Cavin Johnson] and has done well.
“We are the underdogs because we are playing against a free-scoring team, who have been doing very well this season."
Mosimane, however, was quick to point out that Sundowns held the advantage over Stars when the teams met in the league a fortnight ago, where a 10-man Sundowns were held to a 1-1 draw in Rustenburg.
“When we played them in a league match in Rustenburg, we should have beaten them, when one takes into account the number of chances we created in that match.
"I do not think there is any team that creates as many chances as Sundowns. I do not like disorganised football, I like to play good football.
"This match then presents us with the opportunity to rectify that.” Meanwhile, Johnson believes the winner of Sunday’s quarterfinal will go on to lift the trophy this season.
"The Nedbank Cup will be won by the team that wins on Sunday,” Johnson predicted.
“We have deserved to reach this stage of the competition, we have done very well and should be commended.
“By any standard, to end in the top three and win the Nedbank Cup would be a successful season. Not for us only, but any team.”
The weekend's Nedbank Cup action was set to get underway on Saturday, when Maritzburg United host defending champions SuperSport United at the Harry Gwala Stadium, while Bloemfontein Celtic take on Kaizer Chiefs at the Bloemfontein Stadium.
In Sunday's other fixture, United FC welcome African Warriors to the Moruleng Stadium.