Never one to take curling shots, Pitso Mosimane couldn’t bring himself to explicitly admit that the Absa Premiership title has slithered from Mamelodi Sundowns’ grasp.
Sundowns, who appear to be suffering from what can be coined, post-pandemic performance disorder, were put to the sword by a marauding Cape Town City, who beat them 3-2 at the Loftus Versfeld on Monday night.
The Brazilians coach watched in horror as his men capitulated and made an admission after the match.
“After we came back, Sundowns is not the same,” said Mosimane, whose side has managed only two points out of a possible nine. Since the return to action, Sundowns beat Bidvest Wits to make the final of the Nedbank Cup but are yet to win a league match following two draws and a loss.
“We are struggling. We are a team that struggles but with a fight. We can’t hide that. If we are doing very well, we should be winning so we are not winning, in the league, we have drawn two and we lost one,” said Mosimane.
Sundowns’ dream of making ten PSL titles seems to be morphing into a nightmare. The trophy looks destined for a cabinet in Naturena, home of log leaders Kaizer Chiefs but defiant Mosimane will only concede the league is gone once there’s no reasonable doubt.
“Well, the manner in which we are going it looks like it is going because we have played three games, we have drawn two and we have lost one. In that context, it looks so. Reality, maybe it looks so but until the last game . . . until it is mathematically proven that we can’t win it, we will accept it.
“At this point in time, we have got a lot of egos and a lot of ambition. As we are a very ambitious team, we try to win the three trophies and we still believe the two are still available even though this one really looks like it’s going out of our hands,” said the five-times PSL coach of the Season.
“That is the story of Mamelodi Sundowns inside Covid-19. That’s reality. We should try and fight. We keep going. We are too ambitious and we have got a lot of ambition that we can just leave it and say it is done. We will go for it and if we don’t win it the table will say we don’t win it and we should accept it.
“We always come back if we don’t win it but we will give it our best. We have too much pride and ego that we don’t fight. We can’t. We will fight. Even the last game, even if the league is gone, we play with pride.”
In a match where Bradley Ralani’s brace and a strike by Kermit Erasmus ensured victory for the Capetonians, Sundowns were second best. An own goal by Edmilson Dove and Keletso Makgalwa’s late strike were not enough to save Mosimane’s side.
“We never took the lead. We were always coming from behind, fighting to equalize, which we did not. We struggled a little bit earlier. I think I understand the two goals that came, that we conceded. I think we made a big mistake on the third goal.
“And that was the sucker punch for us. We always believed that we will come back and score. I believe they took their chances very well,” lamented Mosimane.
Sundowns’ next assignment is another league clash against Maritzburg United at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Friday evening.
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By Hosea Ramphekwa