Home Sport Golden Arrows savouring the prospect of hosting vulnerable Mamelodi Sundowns

Golden Arrows savouring the prospect of hosting vulnerable Mamelodi Sundowns

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Golden Arrows will feel this could be their best chance to take on champions Mamelodi Sundowns. The Brazilians have uncharacteristically failed to score in two games.

Mamelodi Sundowns coach, Rhulani Mokwena will be hoping his team can find the back of the net against Golden Arrows. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu,BackpagePix

Cape Town – Golden Arrows must be savouring the prospect of meeting Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns at a time when they are firing blanks.

Arrows host a vulnerable Sundowns on Wednesday in a Premiership fixture at Princess Magogo Stadium.

On Sunday, lowly Swallows FC came away with a valuable point from a 0-0 draw against the Brazilians – a terrific result for the embattled Swallows because the relegation axe has been looming overhead for some time.

The other extraordinary statistic from the match was that Sundowns enjoyed 79% possession and had 23 shots at goal against a paltry five by Swallows. Almost the entire match was played in Swallows’ half.

Days prior to the clash against Swallows, Sundowns were also held to a 0-0 draw by 10-man Cape Town City. Again, Sundowns enjoyed a massive possession advantage and were 18-8 ahead on the shots at goal count.

These stats must be very encouraging for the seventh-placed Arrows, whose objective is to cement a top eight berth.

Swallows have been languishing in the league doldrums all season and they shocked all and sundry by holding Sundowns scoreless in Dobsonville. The result was a rude surprise for coach Rhulani Mokwena, who was moved to say, “we’re not in the business of giving away points” in his post-match interview.

It was the first time since May 2021 that Sundowns failed to win two consecutive league matches.

Mokwena played down the result by saying he did not feel bad about the draw because Swallows coach Musa Nyatama had played a role in his coaching career previously.

Nyatama was named as Swallows’ interim coach until the end of the season after Ernst Middendorp ditched the club to take a job at relegation-threatened German third division team SV Meppen.

“We’re not in the business of giving away points, so do not misinterpret me but it’s love,” said Mokwena.

“If I can have to stomach a point dropped, I would stomach a point dropped against Musa.”

Mokwena and Nyatama worked together on the coaching staff for two seasons at Orlando Pirates.

“I am supposed to give him my life because, in my previous job, Musa gave me his life. So, if God rewards him a little bit with one point, let’s hope it goes a very long way (in the fight against relegation),” Mokwena said.

“It’s never easy to play Swallows. It’s a tough one but we tried everything, and it was unfortunate.

“I am proud of the players, proud of their effort and proud of their commitment.

“When we went to a back-three it was a little bit better and then we tried to have midfielder Neo (Maema) inverted a little bit, but we could not open it.

“We brought on ‘AB’ (the Moroccan Abdelmounaim Boutouil), who tried to open it. He could not open it and was a little bit unlucky with one or two situations.”

In another midweek match on Wednesday, the relegation scrap hots up when basement dwellers Marumo Gallants and Chippa United clash in Polokwane.

Marumo Gallants will play a fourth match in the space of 10 days and their players will have to dig deep despite the fatigue.

Marumo Gallants are unbeaten in the three games they have played in the space of six days. First, they played in the Caf Confederation Cup against FC Saint-Eloi Lupopo. Then two league clashes followed and they picked up four vital points against Royal AM last Wednesday and Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday.

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