Wounded Downs aim to brush off Mathaithai FC

DStv Premiership log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns will not take lightly Mathaithai FC when the two sides lock horns in the Nedbank Cup last 16 clash on Tuesday, according to Downs co-coach Rhulani Mokwena.

The Brazilians will host the ABC Motsepe League side at the Lucas “Masterpieces” Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville, Pretoria at 6pm. The Free State-based Mathaithai beat NC Professionals to earn themselves a spot in the last 16 round of the tournament.

Mokwena told a media briefing on Monday that his lads will only aim for a victory. “All this starts with our match against Mathaithai, we have to dominate the match until the final whistle,” said Mokwena, adding that Sundowns have used their match against Maritzburg United as a learning curve.

The Brazillians went down 2-1 to the Team of Choice in the DStv Premiership encounter at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday.

“We’re going to field good players for the match. We have to ensure that the squad is strong enough for all the knock-backs that can come in the match,” he said, adding that the most critical component is to focus on mental health.

“We have to make sure that we are mentally and physically ready for tomorrow’s [Tuesday] clash. That will help us.”

Fans can expect changes in the starting eleven, after Mokwena told the briefing that the coaching staff will give other players a chance, saying centre-back Mosa Lebusa is unlikely to feature in the feature because he is still struggling with an injury.

He added that among many other players, George Maluleka is fit and available for selection.

“He [Maluleka] has vast experience and leadership skills, and is the player we see that we’re going to vouch to field in the upcoming matches. But it all goes with match fitness and patience.

“We have plenty of other players that are sitting on the bench, it is all about working extremely hard to make it to the starting line up,” he added.

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