June 23, 2021

Mamelodi Sundowns skipper Kekana wary of emotional Kaizer Chiefs PSL opener

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The two giants resume their rivalry after the Brazilians denied Amakhosi the league title on the final day of last season

Mamelodi Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana believes correcting the mistakes they made against Bloemfontein Celtic last weekend will carry them past Kaizer Chiefs in Saturday’s Premier Soccer League (PSL) opener at FNB Stadium.

Downs go into this match fresh after being eliminated from the MTN8 by Celtic last weekend after losing 1-0.

“We were disappointed with the result. We watched the match and we were happy with a lot of things we achieved during that match,” Kekana told the Sundowns media.

“The new guys adapted very well. They showed that they are in it. Obviously, the result was not what we expected but that is football for you. We are looking forward to the next match. We will try and rectify some of the mistakes that we made against Celtic and I think we still have a good opportunity to correct them.”

While Sundowns would be trying to recover from the Celtic setback, Chiefs will be out for revenge after they were denied the league title by the reigning PSL champions, in agonising fashion, on the final day of last season.

The last meeting between the two giants saw Sundowns edging Chiefs 1-0 during the PSL bio-bubble, a result which aided the Brazilians to the champions podium.

“It is going to be a match of a lot of emotions. On their side obviously, they lost the league on the last day of the season and for us we will try and do the business,” said Kekana.

“We were fortunate to win the league in the manner we did because we were doing well. They spent about 12 months in position one and I believe they could have won the league but we did the business for the club.

“I believe we still stand a chance of winning against them. It is a match everyone is looking forward to. As players, we will be very motivated to play against Chiefs at this moment because I believe we will give a good performance.”

Sundowns are now under new technical leadership following the departure of former coach Pitso Mosimane.

Co-coaches Manqoba Mngqithi and Rhulani Mokwena are at the helm, as well as Steve Komphela who is the senior coach.

The trio received sharp criticism after Downs lost to Celtic last weekend but Kekana has faith in their coaches.

“The leadership has been with us for the past eight years. So for us it is just to continue with the philosophy that coach Pitso left,” Kekana said.

“The principles have to be the same for the club. We will try to work on continuity and I believe a lot of the senior guys are there to help the new guys. It is not much really but to really show them how we do things and how we want to win matches every time. Obviously, it comes with pressure because we have to continue doing well.” 

Chiefs go into this match on a high after beating Maritzburg United in last weekend’s MTN8 quarter-final match.