DURBAN – Mamelodi Sundowns’ treble dream is still alive.
But the number of permutations for Sundowns to defend their league title is now growing with the same intensity as the grey spikes on Pitso Mosimane’s unkempt beard.
Mosimane’s men will definitely need to start collecting full points if they are to turn their dream into reality. The Brazilians are yet to get win in the league after the resumption of football.
The champions started to feel that they were losing their grip at the start of the week when they were humbled 3-2 by a reinvigorated Cape Town City.
Before this, the champions shared the spoils with Highlands Park and Orlando Pirates.
Those three results meant they dropped a whopping seven points and secured just two.
There was some reprieve for the Brazilians, however, when log leaders Kaizer Chiefs were beaten 3-1 by a lionhearted Bloemfontein Celtic.
It didn’t help the Glamour Boys that they had already drawn a game (1-1 with Bidvest Wits) in their first three outings after the restart, although Chiefs are still at the summit and leading by six points – the only solace for Sundowns being that they have a game in hand.
The relentless bio-bubble schedule will not give Mosimane breathing space as they are fixtured against Maritzburg United at Lucas Moripe Stadium today (6pm).
Mosimane is aware of what to expect from the Team of Choice but games are so tricky in the “new normal” that even the usually street-smart Sundowns mentor will find it hard to prepare.
“Maritzburg won four games in a row before Covid-19 which we did also, to be honest. But after Covid-19, they have lost one against Black Leopards. So it is not easy,” Mosimane said.
“They have had enough time and enough rest. We have played four games in nine days. It is unbelievable. It is the way the programme is. No one is guaranteed a win at this point in time, anybody can beat anybody.”
There’s no denying that the race for supremacy is now between Chiefs and Sundowns.
What makes it even more intriguing is the fact that these two sides still have to face each other.
— Mamelodi Sundowns FC (@Masandawana) August 21, 2020
That could be a potential decider for the league title. But Sundowns have to rediscover their form, starting with tonight’s game.
“If we focus on our games, we focus on the process, we will sort it out. But you can’t say we are not looking at the log position, we are looking at it,” Mosimane elaborated.
Mosimane is chasing his record fifth league title with Sundowns. That will make him the most successful coach in the Premier Soccer League era.
The Team of Choice might be without the services of Mxolisi Kunene, who twisted his knee in the last match.
Vincent Kobola, who is an assistant coach to Eric Tinkler, is expecting a difficult game.
“It was a tough defeat against Black Leopards. We really let ourselves down. We should have done better. Leopards wanted it more than us. We need to improve in our next game against Sundowns. It is going to be difficult there, especially after they lost against Cape Town City.”