JOHANNESBURG – In an exclusive interview with DailyAfrika, retired Mamelodi Sundowns defender Jethro Mohlala has urged the Brazilians to put their MTN8 semi-final loss to SuperSport United behind them.
Coach Pitso Mosimane’s troops suffered to a 3-1 loss on aggregate to their neighbours on Wednesday night, but the legend believes SuperSport had a well-executed game plan.
Resulting from the defeat, the reigning South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions will now turn their focus to the league match against Maritzburg United on Saturday.
“I think SuperSport had a game plan and they executed it very well…they resorted to counter-attack and we lacked the numbers at the back because we were chasing the game,” Mohlala told DailyAfrika.
“We knew the rules of the game that we needed to protect our away goal, but we could not get a goal to equalize. The rush for a goal made Sundowns vulnerable at the back.
“Sundowns is a big club in the PSL and most teams can plan against us more than what we can plan for them. We just have to pick up the pieces and move on because it was not our day.
“You see, many players raise their game because everybody wants to play for Sundowns. It’s a challenge on its own for our players to compete because most of the opponents want to get a contract,” he reacted.
On the fact the Brazilians are experiencing a shortage of goals in their domestic campaign, Mohlala has called for the introduction of new signing Tokelo Rantie who is a natural number nine.
Ahead of the Wafa Wafa clash on Wednesday night, Sundowns were in high spirits after thrashing Cote d’Or of Seychelles 5-0 in the CAF Champions League last weekend, but they fired blanks at home.
🚨NEW SIGNING ALERT🚨
Let’s welcome Tokelo Rantie to the Brazilians Masandawana!
— Mamelodi Sundowns FC (@Masandawana) September 10, 2019
“The signing of Rantie was good and we needed somebody like him. He is a definite out and out striker, we need him and I think he can solve the problems upfront,” urged ‘Lovers’.
“I once said we only rely on converting midfielders into strikers and I am not saying it’s wrong but we needed a natural striker. Like Lebohang Maboe is a midfielder but we converted him and he is adjusting in that role.
“Let’s also hope that Mauricio Affonso will recover quickly from injury and help us with the goals. Even if Sundowns have actually assembled a strong squad, losing football matches is still part of the game,” expressed the former Bafana international.
On the next clash in the league against Maritzburg United, the former Bafana Bafana left-back has backed the Tshwane giants to overcome the Team of Choice.
“There’s one thing about Sundowns, they are not comfortable with a loss and I don’t see Maritzburg stopping Sundowns,” continued the former Wits University star.
“You will remember they have lost key players including Maboe and if Sundowns can only minimize mistakes, then the game is as good as done.
“We still can’t write Maritzburg off because they are not doing well, they have no win so far but Sundowns players must be motivated by their salaries – there’s no reason to lose twice in a row.
“These guys must prove that they want to play for Sundowns until they retire, it’s all about hard work and they must forget the loss to SuperSport and fight to win their 10th league title,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, Sundowns remain the only PSL team yet to suffer a defeat in the league after five matches of the season, they will look to preserve their record as well as defending their PSL title.