Sekhukhune aim to use Jose Mazibuko’s unconventional tactics to stop ‘DownsThomas Kwenaite
By Andile Dladla & Mandla Dladla
The question uppermost on the lips of millions of South African football followers on the eve of the start of a brand new DStv Championship season is – who exactly will stop Mamelodi Sundowns?
The defending champions Sundowns get the ball rolling with a tricky away fixture against Sekhukhune United at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Friday evening.
Seven consecutive league championships, a CAF Champions League title, CAF Super Cup and a couple of domestic cup competitions during the same period are without doubt signs of a club in total control in domination.
Yet even before the first ball has been kicked in anger, the question seems rhetorical really when one considers the quality in terms of personnel at Sundowns disposal.
After winning the championship with a massive 17 point advantage over runners up Orlando Pirates in the season that just ended, Sundowns have gone on to bolster their side with additional five players.
Lucas Ribeiro Costa, Junior Mendieta, Lesiba Nku, Thapelo Maseko and Bathusi Aubaas are names that leaves every opposition coach drooling with envy.
And after embarking on a European pre-season tour where they won three and drew one of their four matches in Denmark and Holland respectively, the message coming out of Chloorkop is loud and clear.
Not that Sekhukhune have been sitting idle under a morula tree in their Limpopo stronghold – they have also brought in quite impressive arsenal to their squad.
“Ba bina noko” are determined to compete and mix punches with the best that the country has to offer, even though meeting Sundowns is much too steep a mountain to climb.
The fact that they managed to qualify for the top eight is indicative enough that when the chips are down, they are capable of rising to the occasion with experienced anchor Kamogelo Mokotjo a key figure in their team.
The outcome of this clash with open a window to local football followers if the widening gap between Sundowns and the rest has been closed or it remains as it has been for the last seven years.
But perhaps Sekhukhune coach Brendan Truter should be taken seriously when he said the only way to stop Sundowns would be to employ fictitious “Jose Mazibuko’s” unconventional 1-3-7 formation.
Before you burst out laughing, Let the games begin!