Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rhulani Mokwena showered praise on his squad following their hard-fought 1-0 victory over Orlando Pirates, maintaining their perfect start to the Premier Soccer League (PSL) campaign on Wednesday.
A first-half penalty from Lucas Riberio Costa, marking his fifth league goal of the season, secured all three points for Bafana Ba Style. This win coincided with the Tshwane giants equaling the record for the longest unbeaten league run in PSL history, spanning an impressive 31 games.
Mokwena expressed his delight with his team, who continued their flawless start to the 2023-24 DStv Premiership season by saying: “It was a challenging game between two very strong teams and the pitch conditions made it even more difficult as it held the ball up, affecting the tempo and our rhythm at times. Nevertheless, we had to dig deep as a team. We maintained our tactical shape for extended periods, but credit goes to Pirates for their reaction. However, even more credit goes to us for getting the job done. We were prepared to suffer as a team and I offer big compliments to the players for their incredible commitment and hard work in securing this crucial victory.”
Masandawana has maintained an unbeaten streak in the league since their 2-1 loss to SuperSport United on September 2, 2022. During this remarkable run, they have won an impressive 25 games and drawn just six times.
Mokwena emphasised some of the crucial factors contributing to his team’s fantastic consistency by stating: “We benefit from an incredibly talented sports science department, medical department, conditioning, and fitness department, which has played a pivotal role in our ability to achieve these impressive numbers,” he added: “Additionally, we have outstanding footballers who exemplify professionalism by taking care of themselves off the pitch and dedicating themselves to rigorous training. I extend my sincere compliments to the entire football club for the robust support system in place.”
With 21 points this season, the Brazilians currently lead the league by seven points ahead of second-placed Golden Arrows.