Beware of the underdogs

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

It is not often that Mamelodi Sundowns find themselves viewed as underdogs in any competition.

But that is exactly how most people think of The Brazillians as they prepare to do battle against a rampaging SuperSport United at the Olympia Stadium in Rustenburg in their Nedbank last-32 cup match tomorrow.

Kickoff is at 7.30pm.

But adversity is a powerful motivator, and though Gavin Hunt's men have fared better in knockout competitions against their Tshwane neighbours of late - winning their last three cup meetings - they are taking no chances against Downs.

Coach Hunt has said his main focus this season is on the league championship, but Matsatsantsa a Pitori know that the R6 million prize money on offer in the cup is not to be sniffed at.

Their spokesman, David Skhosana, said the "favourites" tag might not always be good for the players.

"We have not lost a game since the second round [of the league] resumed, and having seen Wits exit the competition we have to make sure the same does not happen to us. Having said that, we are ready for whatever they decide to throw at us," Skhosana said.

Sundowns defender Benson Mhlongo said their lukewarm form will matter little tomorrow, and implied it will be a striker's game.

"This might be the game that will get us back on track. We have not been playing badly but just have to convert our chances."

With Katlego Mashego, defender Bongani Khumalo and Kermit Erasmus in top form, it is going to be a torrid 90 minutes for Mhlongo and company.