Sundowns to field ‘best team’ against United
Mamelodi Sundowns will bring out the heavy artillery for the Telkom Knockout final, with Gaston Sirino set to make his return for the clash.
Sirino makes a return from suspension after missing the league clash against Stellenbosch in midweek. He will be closely watched by Maritzburg's solid defender Rushine de Reuck.
Sirono's return, plus that of Themba Zwane and Mauricio Affonso, means Downs coach Pitso Mosimane will have a full complement to choose from for the final against Maritzburg United at the Moses Mabhida Stadium tomorrow (6pm).
"You always like to have a Sirino on the pitch. The same with the other top players. Now I have a problem [deciding who plays], so I will go with the team that I feel is the best to do the job," Mosimane said.
"The fixture change allowed Sirino to be available for the final, so we welcome it. We have almost a complete team that can play because most of the guys are available."
Due to their loaded fixture schedule that includes the CAF Champions League, Downs will do the unusual of having one day to prepare for the final. Downs played Stellenbosch on Wednesday night (3-1 win) and used yesterday to recuperate.
This means they will only prepare properly today for the final.
"That's what happens when you play three competitions in seven days. There is no time to rest. This is the programme we are having, we are used to playing a game every three days," he said. The Brazilians will be looking to win their second TKO title under Mosimane since 2015.
"Why not? We would love to win the cup, but you don't buy it, hey. We need to win the cup, but you need to fight for it because Maritzburg want it and probably they want it more than us. They want to win a first trophy."
How they made final
Road to the final
First round: v Wits 1-1 (3-1 penalty shootout win) Thabiso Kutumela (Maritzburg), Terrence Dzvukamanja (Wits)
Quarterfinal: v Highlands 1-1 (4-3 penalty shootout win) Mlungisi Mbunjana (Maritzburg), Jerry Msane (Highlands)
Semifinal: v Chiefs 1-2 Yagan Sasman (Chiefs), Judas Moseamedi 2 (Maritzburg).
First round: Sundowns 5-0 v AmaZulu Ali Meza, Mario Booysen (OG), Gaston Sirino (2), Mauricio Affonso
Quarterfinal: v Chippa 2-2 Sundowns (4-3 penalty shootout win) Augustine Kwem, Silas Mayiza (Chippa), Gaston Sirino 2 (Sundowns)
Semifinal: v Arrows 1-2 Sundowns Nduduzo Sibiya (Arrows), Hlompho Kekana, Gaston Sirino (Sundowns).See page 34
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