Keeper Arubi confident of upsetting champions

TTM hoping to end Downs' unbeaten league run

Washingtong Arubi of Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila celebrates a victory during the 2021 Nedbank Cup last 16 match between Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila and Swallows at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane, on 26 February 2021.
Washingtong Arubi of Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila celebrates a victory during the 2021 Nedbank Cup last 16 match between Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila and Swallows at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane, on 26 February 2021.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Defeat against table-toppers Mamelodi Sundowns in their Premiership encounter is non-negotiable for strugglers Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila.

The Limpopo-based outfit are hoping to become the first team in the DStv Premiership to end the defending champions' unbeaten run.

TTM visit the Brazilians in a rescheduled league game at Loftus Versfeld Stadium today at 3pm. Zimbabwean goalkeeper Washington Arubi said TTM could not afford to lose the game, having lost their previous league matches against Golden Arrows and AmaZulu.

TTM are second from the bottom of the table with 16 points from 19 matches, while the Tshwane giants top the log with 40 points from 18 matches. Sundowns are chasing their eleventh Premiership title, while the Polokwane-based side are hoping to avoid relegation.

“With all due respect to Sundowns, we cannot afford to lose to them tomorrow [today]. We will beat them. We want to start collecting points, starting with the game against Sundowns. Some of us are fighting for our future and our survival in the league depends on the status of TTM,” Arubi told Sowetan yesterday.

The former University of Pretoria goalkeeper knows that he could be the busiest player on the field today. He is facing a team of superstars like Kermit Erasmus, Peter Shalulile and Themba Zwane, to mention a few of their deadly attackers.

However, Arubi said TTM could pull off an upset and become the first team to end the high-flying Sundowns' unbeaten run in the league this season.

“We have our destiny in our hands and all that we have to do is to win games. I will put in the effort to prevent them from scoring. The last thing that we want to rely on is favours from other teams. We do not want to start using a calculator to calculate our chances. We do not want to worry about permutations at the end. Today, we are playing a big game and we are ready for it,” said Arubi.

The veteran footballer said the Fifa international break has helped them to work on aspects of their game.

“It was disappointing to lose the game to AmaZulu. However, we had the opportunity to work on our game. We are not worried about the teams below or above us. The focus is on ourselves. Sundowns are doing well, but they will lose this one against us,” added Arubi.

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