Derbies are different, says Rulani before United duel

Coach praises his team after victory over Chippa

Neville Khoza Journalist
Divine Lunga of Sundowns during the DStv Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Chippa United at Lucas Masterpieces Moripe.
Divine Lunga of Sundowns during the DStv Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Chippa United at Lucas Masterpieces Moripe.
Image: Lee Warren

As they prepare to host SuperSport United at Loftus Versfeld tomorrow at 7.30pm, Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena says it's difficult to compare the Soweto and Tshwane derbies.

Mokwena watched the Soweto derby on Saturday when Orlando Pirates edged Kaizer Chiefs 3-2 at FNB Stadium. While he has been on the bench for the Buccaneers in the derby in the past, Mokwena  said the emotions and history make the difference.

Sundowns will look to continue with their winning run against a side that last beat them in the DStv Premiership on September 2 2022, when they face one another tomorrow.

"It's difficult to compare the derbies because the Soweto derby has a lot of history, while the Tshwane derby doesn't have much history," Mokwena told the media after his side beat Chippa United 2-0 at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday.

"I think in terms of emotions, the rivalry is there. It's a rivalry, that's why it's called the derby. And over the years, both teams have been extremely successful, especially in the present history.

"There are a lot of trophies that are shared between SuperSport and Sundowns both in the league and cups. So, the prestige is there. But it's difficult to compare because the other one [Soweto derby] has the emotions and historical background.

"The other one is emotions from the recent success of both teams. You go to a space where you compare the Milan derby for example [AC Milan and Inter Milan], with a game between Roma and Lazio [Rome derby], it's completely different.

"Of course, a derby is a derby ... everyone wants to dominate and have the bragging rights of a city."

The win against Chippa on Saturday saw Sundowns stretch their lead at the top of the log table after goals by Teboho Mokoena and Tashreeq Matthews.

Mokwena was full of praise for his players, saying they are playing far better than last season. "It was a very good team effort in the first half," he said.

"And we were a little bit inconsistent with the performance, maybe even giving the ball away cheaply and presenting chances for Chippa.

"I have to thank the players for being there for the team and also being there for me because I think the first half they played was how I felt this entire week. They were there and that's good."


Tomorrow: Sundowns v SuperSport, Loftus Versfeld (7.30pm)

Nedbank Cup

Wednesday: AmaTuks v Swallows, Tuks (7pm)

Thursday: Sekhukhune v AmaZulu, Peter Mokaba Stadium (7pm)

Friday: Milford v Stellenbosch, Princess Magogo (7pm)

Saturday: Chippa v Ravens, Buffalo City (3pm); Bay v SuperSport, King Zwelithini (3pm); Pirates v Lions, Orlando (6pm)

Sunday: D'General v Galaxy, Free State, Sundowns v Maritzburg, Lucas Moripe (6pm).

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