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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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the brazilians'total onslaught

By Linda Moreotsene | Feb 10, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

MAMELODI Sundowns' chase for the Absa Premiership title is like history repeating itself for team manager Michael Manzini.

As they prepare for an all-out attack on Platinum Stars at Super Stadium tonight, Manzini remembers with nostalgia how Downs got to be crowned champions of the 1999-2000 season.

"Until the last day of the match it was not clear whether we or Kaizer Chiefs would win the title, so the trophy was on stand-by in a helicopter in Midrand until the last minute of the match, (the pilot) waiting to hear where to take the trophy - to Johannesburg Stadium were Chiefs were playing Dynamos, or to Odi Stadium were we were up against Cape Town Spurs."

Football lovers will recall that the trophy eventually went to Chloorkop - and the sight of Brian Baloyi will serve to revoke those memories for them, even though it was before the days of "Spiderman" crossing to the Tshwane side.

That Downs have reason to worry about the visitors is clear - the North West side are one of just five teams to have got the better of the Brazilians this season.

By his reckoning, Downs are unlikely to drop the ball at this late stage in the game, their big match temperament will see them through.

"Almost the entire team has been here before - Brian, Surprise Moriri, Lebohang Mokoena and Elias Pelembe, they all know what's at stake.

"But let me hasten to add, we are firmly focused on this match and are channelling our energies towards it. We won't be dreaming of tomorrow, while there is still today to get through," said Manzini, the side's former captain.

Still on suspension from Hristo Stoichkov's team is striker Mabhuti Khenyeza who picked up a red card last Wednesday - and captain Esrom Nyandoro - who received a third yellow at the weekend.

In addition to having a good record against the hosts Dinaledi - who are eyeing a better spot than their present ninth - would also be encouraged by their weekend victory against Santos, courtesy of a Luis Renteria strike.

And as right winger Joseph Malangoane says, it's a game of points. "We have a lot to play for - the three points which will get us into the top 8. The win from the first round means nothing."

Kickoff is at 7.30pm.


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