Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena gives fascinating analytic profile of Cape Town City ahead of MTN8 final
Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena has a given fascinating and detailed analytic profile of Cape Town City ahead of their MTN8 final at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday.
Speaking in the build-up to the match where the Brazilians are looking to win the tournament for the first time since 2007, Mokwena said City are close to being the most complete team.
City won this tournament in 2008 under former coach Benni McCarthy but Sundowns have never lifted the MTN8 trophy in its current guise and their last win was when they beat Orlando Pirates 1-0 in 2007 when the competition was known as the SAA Supa8.
“When you speak of preparations and analysis, you look at two facets. The one is from a personnel perspective and my opinion is that Cape Town City probably have what I would say is close to the most complete side in relation to personnel,” said Mokwena.
“They have specialists in every position and in goal you have Hugo Marques whose extensive experience has helped them with build-ups. He is very good in relation to how they want to play, how they build form in the back and how they play in transition.”
In defence, Mokwena said they have some of the best players in the league.
“You have the left back Terrence Mashego who is probably the most on-form and one of the best in the country at the moment. He deservedly got called up to Bafana Bafana and they also have Abbubaker Mobara and Taariq Fielies.
“Mobara and Fielies are among the best centre backs in the country and they have Thamsanqa Mkhize who is one of the best right backs in the country.”
In the midfield, Mokwena said they must keep an eye on Thato Mokeke and Thabo Nodada.
“I believe that Mokeke is one of the best deep-lying playmakers in the country. There are only three in the country and he falls into that space. A lot of other teams play with a defensive midfielder but Cape Town City plays with a deep-lying playmaker.
“They are a team that likes to have Mokeke in deeper positions where he initiates build-ups. You want a little bit of comfort and to be able to find spaces higher up the pitch by dragging people to come in them, you have the right sort of player like Mokeke.
“He has a left foot, a range of pass. Defensively he is very strong because he has a profile of having played as centre half and as a left back. You should never see Mokeke as a defensive midfielder, he is extremely offensive and everything looks to start through him.
“Then you have Thabo Nodada who has the highest number of chances created, the same with Mduduzi Mdantsane who is probably their most important with nine goal scoring contributions with goals and assists.
“Fagrie Lakay is on form. Bradley Ralani for me is probably is one of the best players in the league with highest dribbles, box entries and chances created and he shoots a lot and looks to finish situations.
“Then you have a Craig Martin who can play on the line, create situations where they play with a back four and maybe even join the offensive line and create a two-pronged attack with Lakay.
“Depending on the personnel, you go to the structure which is more complex because in the last four games they have two different structures. They are a very interesting team, a team that is only second to Sundowns in relation to possession.
“They are only second to SuperSport United in terms of efficiency on their transitions, they are a team that has seven players that can create big chances on average per match.
“They are team that has eight players that create over 50 passes in relation to possession and looking for the ball and having the willingness to play.”