Champs have not hit top gear yet, Mokwena warns

Sundowns, Chippa keen to build on opening wins

Neville Khoza Journalist
Themba Zwane of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Keagan Buchanan of AmaZulu during the DStv Premiership 2021/22 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and AmaZulu at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria, on 20 August 2021.
Themba Zwane of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Keagan Buchanan of AmaZulu during the DStv Premiership 2021/22 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and AmaZulu at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria, on 20 August 2021.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns and Chippa United will be hoping to build on their opening round victories in the DStv Premiership when they meet at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium tomorrow at 5pm.

Both teams opened their campaign with 1-0 victories against AmaZulu and Sekhukhune United.

They will now be looking to make it back-to-back wins when they clash in Gqeberha tomorrow.

Sundowns had dumped Kaizer Chiefs out of the MTN8 before securing the win over AmaZulu, yet co-coach Rulani Mokwena has warned that his side has not yet hit top gear.

“We are far from where we like to be. We’ve not hit top gear yet and it is a work in progress. We have to try to keep on working and improve the fluidity of our game,” Mokwena told the media.

“We are hoping that by the time we hit match five or six we will be in a good space in regards to our fluidity and our cohesion.

“We don’t complete our attacks and facilitate shots at goal because that’s how you win football matches. To have such a dominant performance with so much possession, creating so many possibilities to have goals and only have one shot at goal is probably something that leaves a sour taste in our mouth.”

Mokwena hopes to see some improvement against the Chilli Boys tomorrow as they look to maintain their brilliant start. “We knew that the first games of the season are not going to be as good as we know Sundowns, but we are in that space where we have to try and improve,” he said.

“Not just in the performances, but certain aspects of our performances, and try to make sure that the team hits a good level. But the signs are there and the signs are good so far.”

Meanwhile, Chippa coach Gavin Hunt, who was pleased with his side's opening victory against Sekhukhune, expects a tough match against the Brazilians.

“I thought it was going to be a certainly difficult game [against Sekhukhune] because of our situation, not having players available – certainly seven or eight from the starting 11 not there,” Hunt told the club's media department.

“We could not make any changes in the front area, but everybody stuck to the plan. We have a bigger task coming, that’s for sure, but to start with the three points, especially where we’ve been, we need to try and build from that. It won’t be easy on Tuesday, that's for sure.”

Fixtures

Tomorrow

Chippa v Sundowns, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, 5pm; Gallants v Pirates, Peter Mokaba Stadium, 5pm

Wednesday

SuperSport v Arrows, Lucas Moripe Stadium, 3pm; AmaZulu v Swallows, Kings Park Stadium, 5pm; Royals v Cape Town City, Chatsworth Stadium, 5pm; Chiefs v Baroka, FNB Stadium, 5pm; Maritzburg v Sekhukhune, Harry Gwala, 5pm; Stellenbosch v Galaxy, Danie Craven Stadium, 5pm

MTN8 semifinal 1st leg

Saturday

Arrows v Sundowns, Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium, 3pm

Sunday

Cape Town City v Swallows, Athlone Stadium, 3pm

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.