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Pitso gives Downs a wake-up call

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Saturday’s win, and Kaizer Chiefs’ loss, cut the gap between the two teams to seven points with Sundowns having a game in hand

MAMELODI Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane gave his players a wake-up call following their casual approach against Chippa United who were there for the taking.

The Brazilians were lethargic and wasteful in front of goal, but they eventually beat the Chilli Boys 3-0 at Loftus on Saturday. That scoreline was flattering to the Port Elizabeth-based team, and according to Mosimane , “not a true reflection of the game”.

Saturday’s performance was unlike Sundowns as they are normally ruthless in the final stretch of the season, especially when the PSL title is up for grabs.

Cut the gap

Saturday’s win, and Kaizer Chiefs’ loss, cut the gap between the two teams to seven points with Sundowns having a game in hand. That game is against Bloemfontein Celtic on Wednesday.

“We have to push,” Mosimane said. “If you want to stay in contention for (the) title, they (Sundowns players) have to push. They know. I was telling them at halftime that you are playing with an opportunity of keeping the league alive, because they were missing and missing, they start back-heels and it looks nice.

“I said there is one thing that you must know, we appreciate that you scored a goal in the first half and you are controlling the game, but the manner in which you are missing chances – you are skating on thin ice with an opportunity to chase the league.

“Because Chippa could score, I mean the guy (Silas Maziya) hit the post there. It’s unbelievable. They hit the post, anything could have happened. They could have scored, it’s a draw and then where is our opportunity to chase the league? We would have lost it.

“It’s still alive until mathematically it’s not.”

The on-and-off Celtic will be a tough test for the Brazilians. Celtic tends to trouble Sundowns in Pretoria. Phunya Sele Sele will come with a compact defence that will frustrate Sundowns and look to hit the Tshwane side on the counter.

The team from the City of Roses was no match for Highlands Park in Tembisa on Saturday. The Lions of the North cruised to a 2-0 win without much trouble, but that won’t be the case when they visit Sundowns. Celtic will bring their A-game against the former African champions and Sundowns will need to be sharp upfront.

“The conversion rate is very poor,” Mosimane said. “What are you going to do? Sometimes you close one eye, or you can choose to open both eyes. It depends on how the players take it.

“But what’s important for us is for them to create the chances. And they must learn from it, and then we can correct. We do our corrections. We take the chances and do corrections.

“You can’t get everything in one day. Sometimes it’s a one-goal game where there aren’t too many chances, like the game against SuperSport and they took their chances. Today they took three out of 12, it’s unbelievable As coaches we are never happy with everything.

“We scored three goals and we won the match.”