Sundowns have an opportunity to change that.
MAMELODI Sundowns assistant coach Manqoba Mngqithi says it’s “unacceptable” that a team of the Brazilians’ stature have struggled like they have in domestic knockout competitions.
The nine-time PSL champions have a disappointing Cup record under coach Pitso Mosimane and his assistant Mngqithi. While the pair have won four league titles and the 2016 Caf Champions League at Sundowns, the Brazilians have only won two domestic Cups during that time, the Nedbank Cup and Telkom Knockout in 2015.
Sundowns have an opportunity to change that. They visit Golden Arrows in Durban on Saturday in the semi-finals of the Telkom Knockout. Should they be successful there, against Mngqithi’s former team, they will book a spot in the final to be played at Moses Mabhida Stadium on 14 December.
The last time they played in the Telkom Knockout final at Moses Mabhida Stadium they ended the night as champions at the expense of Kaizer Chiefs.
“To be honest, for a team like Mamelodi Sundowns it is unacceptable not to win these Cup competitions,” Mngqithi said. “In as much as we have already won the Telkom Knockout once, but if you look at the number of years we have been here, you will always say that we deserve to have won it twice or thrice if possible.
“The MTN8 has alluded us right through. The Nedbank Cup, we have also won it once. It does concern us, because in as much as they are not our major trophies we want to win but what should stop Sundowns from winning these trophies?”
The Brazilians’ schedule, competing on the domestic and continental scene, has hurt some of their domestic ambitions. This has led to Mosimane saying that their aim as a club are the grand slams, the league and Champions League.
“They have done well in those tournaments, taking their league tally to a record nine times since 1996 and reaching the group stage of the Champions League for five consecutive seasons – the only South African team to have done that. But with their quality, why then have they struggled to balance juggling the two?
“It’s very difficult to know, but at times we are just unlucky because I remember last year we played against Cape Town City in the same Cup,” Mngqithi said. “We conceded a goal we shouldn’t have conceded because it was offside, and we were out. Nobody talks about that. This year, in the MTN8 we had stories again against SuperSport United. It was unfortunate that we also didn’t win that one. They came back very strong in the second leg of the semi-final.
“It’s just a pity, because we would love to win every competition on offer and we do have a team to win all these competitions.
“There are teams that do well in Cup competitions and you’ll never see them at times in the league. We are trying to rectify that.
“We always go for everything that we can get, and unfortunately at times we win and at other times we don’t win.”