Coach Mosimane does not want surprises in team’s game against unpredictable Baroka
Pits Mosimane believes he has gathered enough competitive intelligence on tonight’s opponents Baroka FC, but the Mamelodi Sundowns coach is not taking any chances.
Baroka have developed an appetite for upsetting more illustrious opposition – Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates could not beat them this season – and Mosimane intends to tread very carefully at the Lucas Moripe Stadium against a side that could scuttle the champions’ hopes of defending their premiership title.
This potentially explosive encounter is a tussle between two teams with different objectives.
Second-placed Sundowns are in the midst of a tense battle for the league title with leaders Bidvest Wits, while Baroka are desperately trying to move away from the relegation quicksand.
Mosimane said his assistant, Rhulani Mokwena, was in the stands at the Orlando Stadium running the rule over Baroka when they played against Pirates two weeks ago and he saw enough in the 1-1 draw to warrant caution.
“Baroka are emotional and they attack you‚” Mosimane said.
“They are not a team that sit back‚ they attack you.
“And they need the points [tonight] and that makes them very dangerous.”
Mosimane said he had been involved in the game long enough to know that anything was possible in football and he cited Sundowns’ most recent result as testament to the sport’s unpredictable nature.
He said Sundowns were expected to have a difficult time against Pirates away from home on Sunday and yet the Brazilians managed a comfortable 2-0 win at the Orlando Stadium.
But much against expectations‚ Sundowns struggled at home against relegation-threatened Platinum Stars and had to eventually settle for a 2-2 draw.
“If you asked me how I would have seen our two games against Pirates and Platinum Stars panning out‚ I think you would have also predicted three points from Platinum Stars and maybe a draw against Pirates,” Mosimane said.
“That’s what I thought too. But football always teaches you lessons and the opposite has happened.
“So even with Baroka, you never know what could happen in this game.
“Platinum Stars scored two goals against us. Nobody scores two goals against us in Atteridgeville besides [hoodoo team] Bloemfontein Celtic, who come every year and give us a surprise of five goals.
“But besides Celtic‚ nobody scores more than two goals against us at home. Nobody. And Platinum Stars put two goals against us. It’s unbelievable.
“I think maybe it’s in the record books, hey? I do not think we have conceded more than two goals in a match this season.
“I am not sure but maybe they are the first team to do that.”
Sundowns will no doubt have someone keeping an eye on Wits’ league encounter against hoodoo side Free State Stars, as should the champions triumph at Lucas Moripe and the leaders falter at Goble Park on the same night‚ Mosimane’s charges would return to the premiership summit.