Co-coach says MTN8 exit fired the team up

Mngqithi warns title rivals Sundowns could fire 70 points again

Khuliso Mudau of Mamelodi Sundowns is challenged by Sbusiso Magaqa of AmaZulu during the DStv Premiership match at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria.
Khuliso Mudau of Mamelodi Sundowns is challenged by Sbusiso Magaqa of AmaZulu during the DStv Premiership match at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackPagePix/Gallo Images

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi says their MTN8 exit spurred them into their best Premiership start in seven years.

The league champions are unbeaten in four matches and emerged as the early season favourites to reclaim the DStv Premiership title.

The Tshwane giants got booted out of the first domestic cup competition of the season by Bloemfontein Celtic in October. But Mngqithi said that defeat against the Free State-based side propelled them to prove a point and find themselves at the top of the log with 10 points. The 2016 CAF Champions League winners beat AmaZulu 4-3 at Loftus Versfeld on Sunday.

“We played well but there were stupid moments that nearly gifted the opposition the points. We made schoolboy errors from the first goal to the penalty but we hung in there and got the win. It is not nice to concede three goals. I am not happy with that and will demand an improvement in the next game,” warned Mngqithi.

Stellenbosch are next in the firing line as they visit the slaughterhouse in the capital on Saturday (6pm). The match got rescheduled from tomorrow due to Sundowns having a bye in the CAF Champions League.

“Both clubs (Sundowns and Orlando Pirates) requested to play their matches at the original date of Saturday, that explains the reason why there is a fixture change,” said PSL spokesman Luxolo September.

Reigning SA footballer of the year Themba Zwane scored a hat-trick in 11 minutes and got the man-of-the-match award at the weekend. Peter Shalulile, who made three assists and scored the fourth goal, made life difficult for Usuthu. 

“Our MTN8 loss was a blessing in disguise. After that loss the boys wanted to redeem themselves, and they are on a roll. This season reminds me of that season we won the league by amassing 71 points,” Mngqithi said.

Fixtures

Today: Swallows v Chiefs, Dobsonville Stadium (7.30pm); Celtic v Leopards, Dr Molemela Stadium (7.30pm)

Friday: Maritzburg v SuperSport, Harry Gwala Stadium (8pm)

Saturday: Pirates v Baroka, Orlando Stadium (3.30pm); TS Galaxy v Arrows, Mbombela Stadium (3.30pm); Sundowns v Stellenbosch, Loftus Versfeld, (6pm); AmaZulu v Cape Town City, Kings Park Stadium, (8.15pm)

Sunday: Chippa v Tshakhuma Tsha Mazivhandila, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, (3.30pm)

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