South Africa

Mokwena hails Sundowns’ championship mentality

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena has hailed his players “championship mentality” after the 2-0 win against Chippa United on Saturday.

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The Brazilians bagged all three points to end the Chilli Boys’ unbeaten run in the DStv Premiership. The win takes Sundowns’ winning streak to five matches in all competitions.

Mokwena’s charges have now won four matches on the spin to assert themselves as early pacesetters in the league.

They are on 12 points at the summit of the table, five ahead of second-placed SuperSport United who have a game in hand.

“At the end of the day, this is the league and it’s three points,” Mokwena said after the game at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

“It’s 2-0 and the championship mentality is how you preserve a 2-0 lead. We’ve seen teams come here and score first but Chippa came back, they don’t die so we had to manage that and play very smart.

“My players need a lot of praise for the second half performance. We played a team that was unbeaten before this game and had some good results against Chiefs and Pirates. To win here was very important and I want to give credit this group of players.”

The defending champions are the only team who are yet to drop points in the new campaign.

Mokwena believes the constant pressure of rival teams trying to knock Sundowns off their perch brings out the best of his players.

“The same thing that makes the other 15 teams very difficult,” Mokwena repsonded when asked what makes his team difficult to play against.

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“They have good players and have motivation to beat Sundowns. Every opponent we play is completely different when they play us than anyone else.

“We have a target on our back and everyone wants to beat us so it’s very difficult to be us but heavy is the head that carries the crown.”

Masandawana’s next assignment will be an away visit to Richards Bay on Wednesday. The Natal Rich Boyz are still searching for their first win of the season.