November 28, 2021

Rhulani Mokwena: Sundowns vs Pirates – it’s the final before the final

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Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rhulani Mokwena, who spent two-and-a-half seasons with Orlando Pirates, has described their Nedbank Cup quarter-final match against the Soweto giants as a “final before the final”.

Sundowns are set to welcome Pirates to Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria on Thursday at 18h00 when they square off for a place in the semi-finals.

“With all due respect to the remaining teams [Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila FC, Pretoria Callies and Chippa United] in the competition, I think that this match is a final before the final. Two good sides will take on each other,” said Mokwena.

“Orlando Pirates are strong opponents, an extremely strong opponent with great players. You can see that they are a side with good spirits, good mobility, in particular, their attack.

“They have tactical flexibility in their mobility of how they operate and their last five games have shown that they are a team that can play in a particular way especially in the CAF Confederation Cup.

“They are very dominant on the ball, home and away and that has seen a huge improvement in their ball possession stats. They are an extremely dynamic team, with fewer probabilities of starting play from the back, and have a lot of complications from the left-hand side.

“Like I said they are a strong opponent and have strong tactical communication in the sense that there are a lot of players who have been together for two to three seasons. The cohesion within the group is very good.

“We need everybody in order to go through this program, the next eleven days we play about four games and we have come from a situation wherein seven days we played three games.”

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