’Downs focus on title, Leopards face tumble

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Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi.
Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi.

Mamelodi Sundowns will be crowned 2020/21 DStv Premiership champions should they beat Tshwane rivals SuperSport United in their clash at Loftus Stadium on Wednesday, and co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi says his side are determined to get the job done.

Sundowns will also be confirmed, realistically at least, as league winners in defeat should AmaZulu not beat Orlando Pirates on Thursday, given the Brazilians’ vastly superior goal-difference.

But Mngqithi says they don’t want to rely on results elsewhere to lift the trophy and following their Caf Champions League quarter-final exit at the hands of Al Ahly at the weekend, they want to secure the silverware themselves as quickly as possible.

“We’re not looking towards this game as anything different... It is very important for us to win every match we play and to achieve our targets.”
Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach, Manqoba Mngqithi.

“We are focused on the next assignment which is SuperSport,” he said. “We could see at training that the intensity was good. We know Sundowns want to win and are not used to losing two games in a row, so we have a responsibility to try and come back as quickly as possible.

“For us it’s always important to focus on the process. According to our process this is the second match of the last five games. We have won the first one and all our attention is that we achieve our desired targets.

“It just so happens that SuperSport can decide the championship, but the intention is to get the amount of points that we set out from the beginning.

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“We’re not looking towards this game as anything different. We’re not putting any pressure on the players that this is a title decider. We want them to give the same energy in the other matches. It is very important for us to win every match we play and to achieve our targets.”

Sundowns are seeking an unprecedented fourth league title in a row, but it will be a first for the co-coaching duo of Mngqithi and Rhulani Mokwena.

The match starts at 5 pm, with live coverage on SuperSport.

Black Leopards face relegation

Also on Wednesday, Black Leopards will be virtually relegated should they lose to Kaizer Chiefs at home in a 3 pm kick-off.

Lidoda Duvha’s relegation woes continued as they drew 0-0 with Chippa United away on May 12 and they are now winless in their last two matches.

“We still have nine points to play for, so we will go and work harder. I believe we can climb out of this relegation zone. Yeah, the next three games will not be easy, especially the next match against Chiefs. Chiefs are also fighting to be in the top eight. It will not be an easy game even though we are playing at home ...”
Leopards interim coach, Morgan Shivambu

The Limpopo-based side are placed 16th on the league standings — eight points behind 14th-placed Stellenbosch FC — but the former have a game in hand.

Morgan Shivambu, the Leopards interim coach, has stressed the importance of winning their remaining games — against Chiefs, Cape Town City and Bloemfontein Celtic.

“We still have nine points to play for, so we will go and work harder. I believe we can climb out of this relegation zone,” Shivambu said. “Yeah, the next three games will not be easy, especially the next match against Chiefs. Chiefs are also fighting to be in the top eight.

“It will not be an easy game even though we are playing at home ...”

Chiefs are coming off a 3-0 defeat to Tanzania’s Simba SC in the Caf Champions League match, but they advanced to the semi-finals after winning the quarter-final tie 4-3 on aggregate.

However, Amakhosi are struggling in the DStv Premiership as they are winless in their last four games and are placed 11th on the standings — three points behind eighth-placed Baroka FC.

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