Absa Premiership

Downs to approach Vita cautiously

2017-07-09 06:01
CONFIDENT: Anthony Laffor is eager to repay Sundowns supporters’ confidence in the team. (Lefty Shivambu, Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - It does not matter who the defending champions of the CAF Champions League, Mamelodi Sundowns, will meet in the quarter-finals of the tournament, says Pitso Mosimane.

The coach said his main focus going into Sunday evening's game was to manage his players, particularly those on yellow cards.

Besides, Downs are not in a position to dictate who they play in the knockout stages as they are not guaranteed a top spot in their group.

Finishing on top in Group C depends on whether leaders Espérance lose or draw at home to Saint George of Ethiopia on Sunday evening.

Careful with players

By the time Sundowns take on AS Vita of the Democratic Republic of Congo, also on Sunday evening, they will know who their opponents from Group D, who completed their fixtures last night, will be.

The winners in Group C will play the runners-up in Group D, with the second-placed team playing the winners of Group D.

Although he wants to field his strongest possible team, Mosimane says he has to be careful with players who already have cautions.

In fact, he said, he just wants to get this game out of the way so his players can take a three-week break to recharge their batteries.

But Mosimane said they would give a good account of themselves in their final group game and not let their supporters down. They have called on them to fill the Lucas Moripe Stadium, where entrance will be free.

One player who is looking forward to the game is Anthony Laffor, who has proved himself the man for big occasions.

The Liberian international scored the only goal when Sundowns beat Saint George SC last week.

Laffor said the fact that they have not won at home in their past two games would motivate them to do so for their supporters.

“We want to finish on a high and thank the supporters with a big win,” said Laffor.

Still out with injury

“We want to finish on top of the group and anything is possible for us. The fact that we have qualified does not mean we shouldn’t take our game seriously.”

Sundowns beat Vita 3-1 away in Kinshasa in May, but Laffor said they would not undermine the Congolese.

Mosimane might give the now fully fit Wayne Arendse some game time.

But Sundowns could be without Tiyani Mabunda, who is still out with an injury. Mosimane will assess Sibusiso Vilakazi and Themba Zwane before the game.

“We have to respect our supporters and give them something. They have been behind us all the way and it is time to repay them.”

Kickoff is at 19:00.


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Assuming the 2019/20 Absa Premiership season can't be concluded prior to the 31 July deadline decreed by FIFA, what would be the fairest way to settle matters - all bias aside?

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