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Unbeaten Mamelodi Sundowns focus on winning ... not records

Themba Zwane of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates goal versus Baroka FC with co-coach Rhulani Mokwena. Picture: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Themba Zwane of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates goal versus Baroka FC with co-coach Rhulani Mokwena. Picture: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Published Dec 15, 2021

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Johannesburg - Mamelodi Sundowns can be forgiven for being complacent once or twice in the league.

This is the view of co-coach Rulani Mokwena who believes that his charges have been pushing themselves and that’s why they can afford to slip up.

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ALSO READ: Mamelodi Sundowns equal Kaizer Chiefs record after victory over Baroka FC

After the 16th round of matches in the Premiership, Sundowns remain the team to beat. They are top of the pile with 40 points, thanks to an unbeaten streak that has yielded 12 wins and four draws since the start of the season in August.

That streak, moreover, has all the makings of a championship winning team as they’ve only conceded five goals, albeit scoring a whopping 28. They are also 15 points ahead of second-placed rivals Kaizer Chiefs in the standings.

Sundowns are a team that has managed to grind out for results, even though they are not at their best at times. Such was the case when they beat Baroka 2-1 on Tuesday, thanks to goals from Rivaldo Coetzee and Themba Zwane.

But that championship mettle will probably be tested on Friday night when they host Orlando Pirates at the nation’s capital. Mokwena, though, says they are not under pressure to win that game at all costs, following their outing of late.

“If there’s any level of complacency for that match - and that is a big if, and I’ll tell you why that’s a big if - and if there’s one team that can be forgiven for being complacent is Mamelodi Sundowns,” said Mokwena after the win over Baroka.

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“If you lost one game over two seasons, and that defeat was against Al Ahly, I don’t know how many games you’ve gone in total (without a loss). For me, I focus on winning football matches, not these records (that we’ve achieved as a team).”

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“But if there’s a team that has bought the rights to be complacent is this team. This team doesn’t get enough praise and recognition for the amount of work they’ve done. We are two points away from, arguably, the best performance in a calendar year.”

"We’ve set records along the way, won games and played at a high intensity level with consistency and aggression. Today they fought to win a football match. You can forgive them if they don’t play well in one or two matches. But that’s a big if.”

@Mihlalibaleka

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