The race for the PSL title is far from over, Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane believes, even after their shock defeat against Baroka FC.
JOHANNESBURG – Pitso Mosimane may have cut a disappointed figure during his post-match press conference following Mamelodi Sundowns’ defeat to Baroka FC on Sunday but he remained adamant that the title race is far from over.
The Brazilians looked to be destined to climb to the summit of the Premiership standings following Kaizer Chiefs’ loss to Bidvest Wits earlier on Sunday, but Sundowns squandered the opportunity as they lost the late game to relegation-threatened Baroka.
Both teams endured 1-0 slender defeats and are still level on 53 points, but Chiefs are at the top due to a superior goal difference, leaving Sundowns second.
As much as Mosimane was not happy with his team’s defeat, Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp wasn’t pleased either as his side created plenty of chances to wrap up the three points against Wits. The German coach boycotted Chiefs’ post-match presser, while he cut a lonely figure after the final whistle at FNB Stadium.
“It’s unbelievable, it’s the heat of football. It is keeping everyone on the edge,” Mosimane said after he was quizzed on the incident of kicking objects as Baroka were determined to hang onto their clean sheet and win as Sundowns threw more numbers into attack.
“I am very disappointed because we at least wanted to take a point (to guarantee top position).
“We fought for that. But it’s unbelievable the way things are going. And it’s frustrating the way things are going because we are human beings as coaches.”
Mosimane continued: “Behind us, there’s our families and the supporters. But let’s see how it goes. This league still has a heartbeat, so let’s see how it goes. We’ll try to win the last two matches and hope that will help us.”
Sundowns may be second on the standings but they are well equipped to claim top spot come the end of the season. They have, after all, done it in the last two seasons as they came from behind to claim the crown.
Mosimane is not one to mince his words. For some time, he believed that Chiefs would claim the league title before the season reached its twilight. But such has been the inconsistent form of both sides in the ‘bio-bubble’ that the title race appears to be heading to the wire.
The hiatus hasn’t been fair on any of the teams chasing their own goals – the championship, a top eight finish or saving their top-flight status – as they are battling with injuries due to inferior match fitness.
Nonetheless, it is not over until the final whistle is blown on Saturday.
But does the fact that Sundowns face a duo of relegation-threatened sides in their last two matches in Polokwane City and Black Leopards make them feel like they can pull off the win?
“We don’t want to make excuses, saying that we are playing against the well-rested. So, in the last two games we are going for it (the league title) and we’ll hope for the best,” said Mosimane, who’s won four league titles with Sundowns in just seven and a half years.