PSL

Sundowns coach Mngqithi overjoyed with 3 key points against banana skin Chippa United

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Manqoba Mngqithi (Gallo Images)
Manqoba Mngqithi (Gallo Images)
  • Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi wasn't too fazed by their record-breaking 2-1 against Chippa United on Monday.
  • The win meant Sundowns have gone unbeaten in 20 league matches, beating Kaizer Chiefs' 2014/15 record of 19 unbeaten matches.
  • Sundowns have Orlando Pirates on their radar ahead of Thursday's Nedbank Cup quarter-final.

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi didn't give himself time to bask in his team's record-breaking feat after beating Chippa United in Mdantsane on Monday.

The 2-1 win, Sundowns' 13th of the season, saw them go 20 games without defeat this season. They broke Kaizer Chiefs’ 19-match record of the 2014/15 season.

Having lost 2-0 to CR Belouizdad in their final CAF Champions League Group game last week and with Orlando Pirates looming on Thursday in the Nedbank Cup, Mnqithi said they were happy to have collected the three points.

“We’re encouraged by the fact we’ve a very critical game at a crucial time of the season. When you’ve got a big match that’s coming, these away games are difficult for players to keep their focus on when they know they have a Pirates game to follow,” Mngqithi said.

“One is encouraged because we gave a good fight, created good chances, but we also made the game a bit difficult for ourselves.”

The win also stretched Sundowns’ lead at the top of the log to six points while they also have two games in hand on second-placed AmaZulu.

After Thursday’s Nedbank Cup quarter-final against Pirates, Sundowns are away to AmaZulu on 21 April followed by two consecutive and possibly Championship defining home games against Golden Arrows and Kaizer Chiefs.

That league quadrant is then completed by an away date to Orlando Pirates. Twelve points from those games will move them to 58 and will pretty much wrap up the title for them. Dropping points will allow those teams back in the title race, which is why Mngqithi didn’t underestimate the significance of the Chippa win.

“At this stage, you’re starting to count how many points you need to win the Championship. When the chasing teams slip up, it makes things easier for you. Our focus remains on our cycles and we’re happy that we’ve achieved our targets,” Mngqithi said.

“We’re getting closer to where we want to be and no one would have anticipated we would be where we are with the number of points but we still believe we can do better. You have to take the three points that come your way, especially against relegation threatened teams.”

Mngqithi also credited his side for not being too forward thinking with regards to Thursday’s cup date.

“I wouldn’t say they were preserving energy, but they’ve had far too many matches, but when you’re not scoring goals, the instinctive thinking is to protect the goal one has. That comes from the players when they realise the game could be a banana skin. When we conceded, we jacked up and started to push forward,” Mngqithi said. 

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