Tshepo Ntsoelengoe
Football Writer
2 minute read
4 May 2016
11:30 am

Tshwane derby promises fireworks

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

It will be a fierce battle when two Tshwane clubs, University of Pretoria and Mamelodi Sundowns, meet in a league fixture at Tuks Stadium tonight with the teams on very different missions.

Thabo Mnyamane of Tuks and Themba Zwane of Sundowns during the Absa Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and University of Pretoria at Lucas Moripe Stadium on January 16, 2016 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

For Sundowns, the encounter is crucial for the leaders as they look to seal their second championship in three years. Pitso Mosimane’s charges lead by six points with three games remaining in the season.

It has been a memorable campaign for Downs, who for the most part of this journey seemed unbeatable and were chasing every trophy on offer. In recent weeks, the Brazilians stumbled a little, going out of the Nedbank Cup and Caf Champions League, as well as only picking up a goalless draw against Ajax Cape Town in the Mother City.

This weekend, however, Sundowns recovered their poise in an excellent 3-1 win over Kaizer Chiefs at Loftus Stadium. And Mosimane is confident they will not let the league title slip.

“We could have afforded a draw in the Chiefs game, go to Tuks and fight for our lives against them, go to Bidvest and whatever happens there we will still be in the driving seat.

“The last thing we want is to go to Bidvest Stadium needing the result,” said Mosimane.

“I am happy we got the goals. You never know, we might not win against Tuks. But I am planning carefully and slowly. We are not going to let it go and get over-excited.”

The Clever Boys remain the only side that can catch the Brazilians in the league, but they would need to beat Sundowns in the penultimate game of the season and hope for other results to also go their way.

For AmaTuks, the Sundowns game is a matter of life and death as Shaun Bartlett’s men face the prospect of playing in the National First Division next season. Tuks were beaten 1-0 by Jomo Cosmos at the weekend, a team they are currently fighting alongside in the bottom three.

Bartlett is not worried about facing a Sundowns side at the top of the table and coming off a big win, as he expects his players to perform to at their best as they always do when they play big teams.

“Not really, everyone knows they want to play Chiefs or Sundowns. For me this is a team they can go up against and get a result,” said the Tuks coach.

Tuks are 14th in the table, having collected 21 points, and are three points behind Cosmos and just a point clear of bottom side Maritzburg United.