Absa Premiership

No easy feat, but Sundowns can do it

2018-04-08 06:03
Pitso Mosimane (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - At this stage of the season, it does not matter how teams win points because pretty football is not a requirement for winning matches.

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has already indicated that winning is everything - no matter how it is achieved.

With Orlando Pirates not playing until Wednesday, log leaders Sundowns have a chance to extend their lead at the top and create some breathing room.

Sundowns, who still have a game in hand, visit Baroka FC at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday afternoon, and know that a victory would extend their lead over Pirates to four points.

With the two top teams neck and neck in the title race, no one can afford to even blink.

Pirates’ game against SuperSport United, which was scheduled for Saturday night, had to be rescheduled to Wednesday because of the latter’s involvement in the CAF Confederation Cup.

Expect Pirates’ supporters to rally behind Baroka on Sunday afternoon. A win by Baroka would go a long way in slowing down Sundowns in the title race.

Baroka will put their hopes on Gift Motupa, who is on loan from Pirates, to do the damage for them.

But things have not been going well for the Limpopo side, which has won only one of its previous eight league games.

The team drew five and lost two games, and their top-eight finish is in jeopardy.

Caretaker coach MacDonald Makhubedu knows that beating Sundowns will increase his chances of staking a claim on the job.

Following their convincing 2-0 victory over Chippa United on Wednesday, Mosimane will be hoping for the same kind of performance from his players.

Young Percy Tau, who has been outstanding this season, will be out to increase his goal tally.

After reaching double figures for the first time in his career, the 23-year-old is quickly proving to be the best in the league.

Sundowns have also been boosted by the return of Khama Billiat, who showed glimpses of brilliance against Chippa when he scored the second goal.

With these two in fine form, it is difficult to see how Baroka could stop Sundowns from increasing the gap at the top.

But football has always proven to be unpredictable and anything is possible.

Meanwhile, in the City of Roses, after losing two games away from home, Bloemfontein Celtic will be hoping to return to winning ways against AmaZulu.

Celtic lost 2-1 to Maritzburg United in the Nedbank Cup last weekend before going down to Pirates with the same scoreline in a league game on Wednesday.

However, playing in front of their home supporters should spur them on to arrest their downward slide.

They have a chance of leapfrogging into the top eight, but will need to be at their best to beat stubborn AmaZulu.

Usuthu registered a morale-boosting victory over Ajax Cape Town to move away from the danger of relegation.

Another victory on Sunday will see them overtake Celtic and make it into the top eight.


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Wednesday, 26 September 2018
Baroka FC v Free State Stars, New Peter Mokaba Stadium 19:30
Tuesday, 02 October 2018
Cape Town City v Wits, Cape Town Stadium 19:30
AmaZulu v Maritzburg United, King Zwelithini Stadium 19:30
Highlands Park v Kaizer Chiefs, Makhulong Stadium 19:30
Polokwane City v SuperSport United, Old Peter Mokaba Stadium 19:30
Wednesday, 03 October 2018
Bloemfontein Celtic v Mamelodi Sundowns, Dr Molemela Stadium 19:30
Chippa United v Free State Stars, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 19:30
Orlando Pirates v Golden Arrows, Orlando Stadium 19:30
Black Leopards v Baroka FC, Thohoyandou Stadium 19:30
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