September 17, 2021

What Mamelodi Sundowns need to defend the PSL title – skipper Kekana

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The Brazilians will face Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs in their remaining PSL games, and also come up against Bidvest Wits in the Nedbank Cup

Mamelodi Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana has acknowledged that it will be ‘difficult’ for his side to reach the Nedbank Cup final, and has emphasised that they will require considerable ‘mental strength’ to claim a third straight Premier Soccer League title.

What could be an eventful August awaits Sundowns, who mark their return to competitive action with a Nedbank Cup semi-final showdown against Bidvest Wits on Saturday. 

Three days later, coach Pitso Mosimane and his men resume their league campaign by hosting Orlando Pirates at Dobsonville Stadium, before visiting their closest title rivals Kaizer Chiefs at Orlando Stadium on August 27.

While facing what appears to be tough matches, Kekana is cherishing the assignments which he says gives his side considerable motivation.

“We have to beat Bidvest Wits. Our games against Wits are always difficult,” said Kekana as per IOL. “There’s a lot of motivation for us in the last remaining matches, that’s for sure.

“We all understand the importance of winning,” he added. “Our mental strength will be required in these last [league] games.

“There are a lot of things that are not football related that are going to be happening. We have to control what we can and that is going to require mental strength. We will try to stay focused and win our matches.”

Second-placed Sundowns have nine remaining league matches, while Chiefs, who lead them by four points, have eight games to complete their campaign.

Downs are gunning for a third straight league title to match SuperSport United who are the only other team to complete three consecutive championship triumphs.

If they win the PSL title, it would be a third league crown for Kekana as captain and overall seventh together with Tebogo Langerman, Anthony Laffor and goalkeeper Denis Onyango.

After claiming the Telkom Knockout earlier this season, the Brazilians could end the season with a treble should they also bag the Nedbank Cup.

“We want to be remembered as the generation that brought a lot of trophies to Mamelodi Sundowns,” Kekana concluded. “We’ve been working very hard to ensure that.

“We have a team that can compete. The key is to win our matches.

“As much as we have a bigger plan of winning the treble but we will take one game at a time.”