Pitso emotional over big win

By Drum Digital
26 March 2014

An emotional Pitso Mosimane afterwards revealed the frustrations Sundowns had experienced at the hands of Stars in recent years.

Mamelodi Sundowns kept on track their uphill task of challenging log leaders and defending champions Kaizer Chiefs for the Premier League title when they beat nemesis club Platinum Stars 3-1 at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Tuesday.

An emotional Pitso Mosimane afterwards revealed the frustrations Sundowns had experienced at the hands of Stars in recent years -- and the hard work he had put in to end the trend.

"It was really a personal challenge for me to win this game," he said.

"I spent hours watching videos of Stars' games to study their weaknesses and devise the best tactics to end the run of unhappy results.

"I drummed these tactics into the minds of the players and they worked perfectly. I believe we could have scored more goals -- maybe five or six and it would not have flattered us."

Stars were a formidable combination, he said, after they had recently won the MTN8 and Telkom Cup competitions.

"That speaks for itself but everything has seemingly gone wrong in one way or another for Sundowns when we have come up against them -- and I was determined it would not happen again."

Indeed, Mosimane's obsession with beating Stars was so great that he castigated goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands for suffering what appeared to be a serious ankle injury in the closing stages.

Sundowns had already made their mandatory three substitutions and had Sandilands not been able to continue playing, the Brazilians would have needed to see the game out with 10 men and an outfield player going into goal.

"I thought the old jinx was re-emerging," said Mosimane.

"There was not much time remaining, but you never know what could have happened had Sandilands limped off and left us with 10 men. It was not acceptable. But he stayed on and saw out the match and everything ended okay."

The elusive victory edged second-placed Sundowns to within three points of Chiefs, but having played an extra game as well they remain distinct outsiders to gain their first PSL championship in eight seasons.

To keep the challenge alive and add to their achievements as the most successful team since the formation of the PSL, Sundowns will probably have to beat Tuks in the Pretoria derby at Loftus on Sunday afternoon.

But the real crunch could emerge at FNB Stadium the following Saturday, when Sundowns face Chiefs in what will be a "must win" situation for them.

As for Stars, the defeat against Sundowns meant they missed the opportunity to leap-frog from eighth to fourth place on the log.

"We started on the wrong foot, allowed Sundowns to dominate the midfield and never fully recovered," said coach Allan Freese.

"We closed the gaps for the second half, but it proved too late."

-by Sapa

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