Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane planning 'to box like Floyd Mayweather' against Cape Town City

Pitso Mosimane instructs players during the Sundowns Training at Chloorkop on 06 August 2019.
Pitso Mosimane instructs players during the Sundowns Training at Chloorkop on 06 August 2019.
Image: ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Pitso Mosimane sounded like he was relishing the chance to play a team in Cape Town City who will go “toe-to-toe” with Mamelodi Sundowns in Tuesday night’s Absa Premiership fixture‚ rather than hit the Brazilians on the counterattack.

Sundowns were given plenty of problems on Saturday night at Lucas Moripe Stadium in their MTN8 quarterfinal against Bloemfontein Celtic‚ needing what seemed a soft penalty to equalise‚ though eventually running out 3-1 winners.

Mosimane acknowledged that Celtic coach Lehlohonolo Seema’s counterattacking tactics made life tough for his team‚ but said he expects a whole different ballgame from Benni McCarthy’s City‚ also at Lucas Moripe.

“It’s a big one. Totally different to Celtic. That one [against City] is toe-to toe‚ so we need to box like Floyd Mayweather in that one‚” Mosimane said.

“We need to be smart‚ and we also need to keep the energy for Saturday [for Sundowns’ Caf Champions League second leg against AS Otoho]. Unfortunately the game against Celtic did not allow me to rest players.

“But I had to rest the captain [midfielder Hlompho Kekana‚ who was replaced by Anele Ngconga in the 87th minute] at the end‚ because we need him for the next two games. And probably we need him for the Champions League game than the City game.

“So you gamble a bit‚ and sometimes it backfires‚ sometimes you get it right. It’s a marathon – you do what you have to do.”

Sundowns meet Otoho at Lucas Moripe (kickoff 7pm) with a 2-1 deficit from the first leg in Congo.

Mosimane said Downs are improving at their strategy to overcome teams who sit back and defend‚ and try to hit the Brazilians on quick transitions.

“Celtic are a difficult team. As [Golden Arrows coach] Steve Komphela said‚ they play on the break. They’ve got speed‚ they’ve got Harris Tchilimbou and Tebogo Potsane.

“They’re a very dangerous team. They suck you in to go out.

“But it’s our story – it’s our life in football. It’s the same as when Barcelona and Man City play – the opposition sit and then go on the break.

“And I’ve told the boys now we should enjoy it when people play on the break‚ and thrive on it. And we seem to be doing well now with teams who play that way.

“Because 80 percent of teams in the PSL against us do. Even in the Champions League. You’ll see on Saturday.

“But Benni doesn’t play like that. He plays football. The same as Orlando Pirates – they play.”

Defending champions City were surprised 2-0 by Polokwane City in their MTN8 quarter at Newlands Rugby Stadium on Saturday.

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