Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rhulani Mokwena has explained why they will face a tall order when they take on rivals Orlando Pirates in the final of the MTN8 final at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.
The Brazilians have been enjoying a run of victories in the cup competition and will be looking to take the silverware back to Chloorkop. The last time the two sides met in an MTN8 setup was at last season’s semi-finals, where the first leg ended in a goalless draw and the second leg saw the reigning champions cruising to the final with a 3-0 victory. Coach Mokwena said playing the final against the title holders will not be easy as the Soweto Giants will look to keep the silverware.
“We have to get silverware but this time around we have to get it from the defending champions so we know that we come into the game playing against the champions and it puts a lot of demand on us,” said Mokwena, adding: “This is what cup competitions are about. The players have done exceptionally well to put the team in the final and now we just have to work for one more game. We have to make sure we start cup competitions on a good note.”
He continued and said: “Orlando Pirates are a difficult opponent with very good players on the pitch and an opponent that’s playing its third cup final as a group, so we know and understand the magnitude of the assignment and we have to focus.”
On the injuries that have rocked Sundowns, Mokwena said: “With regards to injury update, there’s a lot of work being done by the medical team which is very good, from the sports science perspective. We have only got a serious injury with Sipho Mbule, who is still out. Thapelo Morena, Thapelo Maseko, and Bathusi Aubaas are also out, they won’t make it. Lucas Ribeiro will do a late fitness test, so that’s more or less what we have, and the rest are okay.”