The Berlin Wall v Downs doesn't always work out
THE strategy for most teams is often the same against Mamelodi Sundowns - build a Berlin-like defensive wall and catch them on the rare counter-attack.
It's the sort of strategy teams prefer to employ against the Brazilians but and it has a mixed bag of results.
Sundowns have drawn 10 league games, six in 2012 alone, and they have had to go through frustrating periods in several of their cup games this season.
Maritzburg United went for a similar approach against Sundowns but still got knocked out of the Nedbank Cup with a comfortable 2-0 win at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday.
Downs coach Johan Neeskens said he wasn't surprised by the stifling tactics as he watched his team take another giant step towards ending a four-year trophy drought by advancing to the semifinals.
"Everybody does it against us ... the defensive approach, but we've managed to win games," said Neeskens. "We are still top on the log and we'll keep our focus on our game."
Neeskens' United counterpart, Ernst Middendorp, bemoaned the absence of key players Kurt Lentjies, Prince Olomu and Felix Obada: "They could have got to the end of one of those several crosses played into the area."
Not many coaches have put Sundowns on the brink of such a rare achievement in a maiden season, but it looks like the Dutchman might win the league and cup double.
With Chiefs now out of the tourney, Sundowns are firm favourites to reach the final. and possibly capture their second Nedbank Cup.