Manqoba Mngqithi, co-coach of Mamelodi Sundowns, addressing players Peter Shalulile.
Mamelodi Sundowns were forced to become tenants at Kaizer Chiefs’ FNB Stadium after their two traditional home venues, the Lucas Moripe Stadium and Loftus Versfeld were ruled out by the Confederation of African Football. Downs used the World Cup final venue and made it a fortress in the Caf Champions League where they won all of their home games in the group stages and played a draw in the second-leg quarterfinal.
Downs will visit the FNB Stadium on Sunday to take on Amakhosi, and Manqoba Mngqithi has described this DStv Premiership contest as one where they two sides will battle for dominance in that space, as Masandawana have been enjoying home comforts much like Chiefs.
“This looks like it will be a match where we are going to fight for the calabash and see who is the boss in that space. It is important for our supporters to understand that this game has got that connotation and we need to go there with the mentality to take over the calabash,” said Mngqithi.
“We have done well in that space in the Champions League but now we are meeting the real owners and this game becomes more important. The league is not important at this stage but we have to make sure that the name of Sundowns is engraved in that stadium because we also take it as our home venue,” Mngqithi added.
However, Sundowns are not in any way intending to disrespect the Glamour Boys. In fact, Mngqithi lauds the work that has been done by caretaker coaches Arthur Zwane and Dillion Sheppard for “turning around” the team since the departure of Stuart Baxter.
“Their style of play is different compared to what we have experienced in the past when we played against them but we still believe that we have the capacity to go into that match and deliver our A-game.
“But we will give them all the respect that is required because we are playing against a big team and we must always humble ourselves. They are coming from a very good performance on Tuesday and that sets up our meeting as a very serious contest.”