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Football | Absa Premiership

Jeremy Brockie © Gallo Images

Sundowns looking to stretch lead at top

Mamelodi Sundowns welcome Free State Stars as they aim to widen their lead at the summit of the Absa Premiership on Wednesday night at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.

Kick-off is at 7:30pm CAT (SA, GMT+2).

The Brazilians have been on a weeklong break since their Nedbank Cup last 32 win over Cape Town All Stars and they will be refreshed on Wednesday.

Leading the log table with 38 points from 20 league matches, they will be out to bag the maximum points at home and remain on top.

Coach Pitso Mosimane said the title is theirs to lose, but they cannot afford to underestimate Luc Eymael’s Ea Lla Koto.

Prior to the 1-0 win over the National First Division side in the cup, Sundowns claimed a 1-0 win over Cape Town City and also drew against Kaizer Chiefs away in Soweto.

Although they beat Stars 2-1 in the first round away in Bethlehem, the 2016 African champions will be cautious in their approach to ensure they avoid a defeat.

Looking at the visitors, they are fresh from two consecutive wins in all competitions and will head to the Capital City with the aim to cause an upset.

Placed in fourth spot with 32 points, they trail their hosts by six points and credit must go to their Belgian mentor and coach as well as the hard-working players as they have turned their fortunes around this term.

In their previous two matches, they managed to draw against Muhsin Ertugral’s Ajax Cape Town, beat Baroka FC 2-0 at home before registering a win over Super Eagles in the Bethlehem derby in the Ke Yona tournament.

The mood is high in their camp and they will want to put up a fight against one of the sides tipped to be ready to dethrone champions, Bidvest Wits.


Mamelodi Sundowns: Onyango, Morena, Soumahoro, Nascimento, Langerman, Manyisa, Mabunda, Vilakazi, Billiat, Brockie, Tau

Free State Stars: Sangare, Maswehe, Mobbie, Mahamutsa, Mbhele, Phungwayo, Vilakazi, Tchilimbou, Dlamini, Jantjie, Mthembu



Season Result Scorers

2012/13 Sundowns 2-1 Stars Mushekwi 2; Cardoso

2013/14 Sundowns 2-1 Stars Malajila, Moriri; Abraw

2013/14 Stars 1-2 Sundowns Sekola; Laffor, Wome

2014/15 Sundowns 2-0 Stars Malajila, Billiat

2014/15 Stars 0-2 Sundowns Malajila, Billiat

2015/16 Sundowns 3-1 Stars Billiat, T. Zwane, Kekana; Fileccia

2015/16 Stars 2-5 Sundowns Venter, Mashego; Arendse, Dolly, Castro, Billiat, Ngele

2016/17 Sundowns 4-1 Stars Billiat, Tau 2, Dolly; Sekotlong

2016/17 Stars 0-1 Sundowns Madisha

2017/18 Stars 1-2 Sundowns Vilakazi; Tau 2


Mamelodi Sundowns winger Aubrey Ngoma:

"It's been a good start for me, it's good to be working with a coach (like Pitso Mosimane) who has a winning mentality and wants to win every game that is played,” said Ngoma.

“We have to take that into consideration if a team is competing with you, you make sure you do not allow them to get points from you.

“If we don't beat them (Stars), we must make sure that they don't win. I think that's what we did with the two previous fixtures and I don't think it is going to be different now.

"You can never underestimate what they have done this season. They are a team that is on form and we need to approach it with the right frame of mind.”

Free State Stars defender Thamsanqa Teyise:

“It will be a tough game, I can say so, we are going to their home ground and we just need to fight – we are prepared to fight,” said Teyise.

“Sundowns beat us at home in the first round and we would like to win this one, but as a team we just need to keep going.

“We want to keep working hard until the end of the season, and we will see where we finish the season at.”


Tiyani Mabunda:

Mabunda will be motivated after walking away with the Goal of the Month Award this week. His ability to provide steel and attack for the club will be crucial for Sundowns.

Jeremy Brockie:

The New Zealand-born forward is waiting to score his first goal for his new club. He will be waiting to use the opportunity against Stars at home.


Thela Ngobeni:

The goalkeeper will use this opportunity to revive his career with Stars. Facing his parent club, Ngobeni will hope to stop all Sundowns’ attacks.

Paulus Masehe:

The hard-working skipper is an inspiration to many youngsters in the team. His leadership skills will be on display come match day.


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