Home Sport Coach pleased to see Mamelodi Sundowns ‘slow down tempo’

Coach pleased to see Mamelodi Sundowns ‘slow down tempo’

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Currently on 69 points, Sundowns stand to finish on 78 should they win against Stellenbosch FC in the Cape Winelands on Saturday, TS Galaxy at Mbombela next Tuesday and Cape Town City on the last day in Tshwane.

SHADRDACK Kobedi (left) of Royal AM chases Lesiba Nku, who scored for Mamelodi Sundowns, during their DStv Premiership match in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday. Photo: BackpagePix

MAMELODI Sundowns are well on course to finish the 2023/2024 DStv Premiership season with a record points haul.

But what their coach Rulani Mokwena said on Tuesday night after a 2-0 win over Royal AM in Pietermaritzburg can be a useful tip for the Brazilians’ remaining opponents.

Currently on 69 points, Sundowns stand to finish on 78 should they win against Stellenbosch FC in the Cape Winelands on Saturday, TS Galaxy at Mbombela next Tuesday and Cape Town City on the last day in Tshwane.

The current record is 71 points, which Sundowns recorded in the 2015/2016 season, and a win at Stellenbosch would see them set a new record of 72.

On Tuesday night, it was goals by Peter Shalulile and Lesiba Nku that saw off relegation strugglers Royal AM as Sundowns surged closer to the record.

However, it is the style of play that Mokwena is supposedly going to employ in the remaining league games that will be of interest to their next three opponents.

“The games are coming thick and fast right now, and that means we cannot be playing at a high tempo all throughout the match. We have to control the tempo – we cannot be playing at 150km/h for 90 minutes,” said Mokwena.

“What we did better (against Royal AM on Tuesday) is to control the tempo well.

“We played fast when we were supposed to play fast, we played slow when we were supposed to play slow.”

What makes this interesting is that throughout the season, Masandawana have been relying on retaining ball possession and a high pressing game.

With that said, it would still be foolish to prepare any less for the Brazilians who, by Mokwena’s admission, will still maintain their pre-match routine.

“The memory of our last game (a 1-0 win over the same Royal AM) was not so far off from the minds of the players, so when we did the review, it quickly got us connected to the game and what we needed to do,” he said.

“We should have scored more (they got a penalty, which Marcelo Allende missed). We were better than the last game, when we were wasteful.”

Sundowns have elevated to monstrous heights as they stretched their numbers to 51 Premiership games unbeaten on Tuesday.

“There are two ways to look at it. History has no blank pages. There are things that are going to be written about this group …” said Mokwena.

“I personally am an avid follower of wildlife; I watch a lot of National Geographic. The other day, I was watching the story of an eagle and a crow. When the crow attacks the eagle, the eagle does not fight back, but he takes to greater heights, that he (the crow) eventually falls off.

“A lesson here is that there are people who will say negative things about us, but the higher we keep rising, they will learn to eventually start appreciating what we are doing.”

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