One down, one to go for Downs
Bafana ba Style vying for another win over a Soweto giant, so Bucs must be strong
As the curtain falls on 2015, the question is who will have the last laugh between Pitso Mosimane and Eric Tinkler? Or rather, who will have a joyous Christmas break after this afternoon’s clash between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates? Who will fall at Loftus? In normal circumstances, this clash should be a top-of-thelog battle, but unfortunately, the opposite holds true: Pirates find themselves languishing at the wrong end of the table after their poor start to the season.
For their part, the Brazilians are on a roll and will be looking to compound the Buccaneers’ woes.
High-riding Sundowns will be hoping to make it a double over Soweto teams when they host Pirates at Loftus this afternoon.
This game could not have come at a better time for Mosimane’s side, who are still on cloud nine after winning the Telkom Knockout with a resounding victory over the other big Soweto side, Kaizer Chiefs, midweek.
The coach will want to build on that victory, knowing it will go a long way in his mission to recapture the league title.
Without a doubt, Mosimane has turned Sundowns into a welloiled machine, considering how easily they dismantled Chiefs.
Sundowns’ trio of Keagan Dolly, Khama Billiat and Bongani Zungu have contributed to the revival of the Brazilians. Their pace going forward has left many clubs down and out.
Colombian striker Leonardo Castro also seems to have found his footing in the Premier Soccer League. He scored the opener in Downs’ victory over Chiefs to add to the other goal he scored against SuperSport United.
On the other hand, it has not been smooth sailing for Pirates, who are still reeling from their CAF Confederation Cup final defeat to Tunisian side Étoile du Sahel three weeks ago.
With Tinkler’s future at the club in question following indifferent form this season, time is running out for him to change the team’s fortunes.
He is well aware that anything but a victory could spell trouble for him.
The good thing is that the beleaguered mentor has the backing of some of his star players, notably striker Thamsanqa Gabuza, who was given his break by Tinkler.
To their credit, Pirates have a way of rising to the occasion when the chips are down, and the Ghost will be hoping this happens again this afternoon.
With the league going into another recess after this afternoon’s matches, resuming play in the second week of January, both coaches will want to take a holiday on the back of a good victory.
ON FORM Leonardo Castro has already scored two goals for Sundowns
GOAL POACHER Thamsanqa Gabuza has come to the defence of