Ntokozo Gumede
Football Writer
3 minute read
28 Sep 2021
11:34 am

Sundowns coach Mngqithi wary of ‘unpredictable’ Arrows

Ntokozo Gumede

Sundowns and Arrows are set to meet at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Tuesday.

Manqoba Mngqithi, co-coach of Mamelodi Sundowns (Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix)

Manqoba Mngqithi says he can predict how Lehlohonolo Seema can line-up Golden Arrows when they meet in the second leg of the MTN8 semifinal on Tuesday night.

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But at the back of Mngqithi’s mind he knows that Arrows have branded themselves as an unpredictable side, and that is potential danger for Sundowns.

Sundowns have the advantage of an away goal going into tonight’s game after playing to a 1-1 draw in KwaZulu-Natal in the first-leg.

The game will take place at the Lucas Moripe Stadium where the Brazilians will look to advance to the final for the first time since 2016 where they lost to the now defunct Bidvest Wits.  

“This is a team that scores goals, both of their strikers are doing well and scoring goals, Knox Mutizwa and Michael Gumede, while Nduduzo Sibiya is beginning to show his magic because he is one player who I believe could give Arrows so much but sometimes he does not work as hard but at the moment he is looking good.

“Pule Modi is doing well and the central midfield of Nqobeko Dlamini, Velemseni Ndwandwe and Simo Mbhele looks very good. Their centre backs, Trevor Mathiyane together with Nkosinathi Sibisi or Thabani Zuke, is also looking very good and their fullbacks, Mthokozisi Dube and Sbonelo Cele are always propelling. We know that we are playing against a very organized team and we have a responsibility as Sundowns to try and take the team to the final.

“We will have to do our best to try and make sure that we keep a clean sheet and probably try to score a goal or two to make sure that we confirm our position in the final but we know it is not going to be easy because they can destabilize your flow with their counter-pressing but we believe that we have a team that is capable of playing this game and going through it.”

The fact that Downs are a bigger brand than Arrows automatically piles the pressure on Sundowns, who are looking to end their drought in this competition as they have been huffing and puffing for almost a decade and half without success.

Mngqithi believes that Arrows will go in the tie with a certain level of motivation, which could be a bafana skin for Sundowns if they under-estimate Seema’s side.

“Arrows can change at any given time and they have a lot of interesting players who are very dynamic and they present different scenarios. The fact that they are playing with a lot of youngsters is where the unpredictability comes from because youngsters are very persistent and when it comes to a big game, they raise their game to another level,” said Mngqithi.

“It makes it difficult to understand whether the team we were watching against Sekhukhune will still perform the same way when they are playing Sundowns because they might give it a go, there is nothing to lose and there is less pressure because Sundowns is expected to win the match and that makes it a very unpredictable game for us because the level of intrusive motivation can harm us if we take them for granted,” the Bafana Ba Style mentor added.