tight leash

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

Mamelodi Sundowns' injury-prone midfield workaholic Godfrey Sapula, who has been out of action for the better part of the season, is confident that his teammates will not underestimate Mpumalanga Black Aces.

The Brazilians meet the National First Division side in the Nedbank Cup final at Johannesburg Stadium on Saturday in a 3pm kickoff.

As one of the most experienced players in the Downs family, Sapula, with players such as Peter Ndlovu and Brian Baloyi, will presumably be tasked with keeping some of the excitable characters in the team in line, and preventing them from getting ahead of themselves, especially taking into consideration the status of their opposition.

Sapula's lack of regular action has seen him playing more of a supporting role to teammates who were playing, but coach Trott Moloto has slowly been introducing him back into the fray with David Kannemeyer and Elias Ngwepe.

Said Sapula yesterday at training in preparation for Saturday: "Against a team like Aces, our biggest downfall would be to underestimate them based on which division they play their football in.

"They have some exceptional and experienced players, but at the same time we have done very well in knockout competition this season."

Sapula was referring to Downs winning the Super 8 title and reaching the final of the Telkom Cup, which they eventually lost to Kaizer Chiefs.

The Nedbank Cup final gives the Brazilians the opportunity to make up for their pathetic performance in the last match of the season, where Free State Stars hammered them 4-0 on Sunday.

Word is that should they emerge victorious, the players and technical team will share the prize money of R6 million among themselves, as has become the norm at Chloorkop.

Moloto seemed to confirm it when he said: "They know what is at stake.

"They are now fully focused on the cup and are aware this is a different ball game altogether, and are looking forward to a really tough encounter."

But standing between them and the kitty, as Sapula has warned, are the likes of Kabamba Mussasa, Eddie Dinha and Michel Babale, to mention just a few.