While Mamelodi Sundowns are looking to add another major title to their trophy cabinet, Mathaithai FC are hoping to pull a shocker on the former African champions.
The Free State ABC Motsepe League outfit will lock horns with the Brazilians in the Nedbank Cup last 16 at Lucas Moripe Stadium this evening (18:00).
Mathaithai qualified to the last 16 after defeating NC Professionals 2-0, whereas Sundowns crashed Richards Bay 4-0 in the tournament’s last 32.
Morena Lothane’s side are unbeaten in their last three games since they have returned to football this year.
Sebete Boys, as they are popularly known, are currently placed fifth in their provincial ABC League with 15 points from 10 outings.
The Botshabelo-based side is a very ambitious team with a coach that has an excellent philosophy, players with intent and also capable enough to go toe-to-toe with the 11-time Premier Soccer League winners.
Mathaithai players say they are not scared of Sundowns as it will be 11 against 11 on the field of play.
The team’s primary focus is to retain the possession and pass the ball around with very little individual player movement.
In case they lose possession, the focus shifts to get the ball through the high press and try a quick counter-attack.
But, regardless of whether they manage to secure a win or not, there is much evidence to suggest that they are one of the top teams in the South African football third-tier, and their good run has already proved this in qualifying for the 2022 Nedbank Cup edition.
The club’s hierarchy runs the team professionally, and it won’t be a surprise if they cause an upset for Downs.
However, one can say that’s easier said than done against the high flying Masandawana, who have been dominating the South African football top-flight in the past four years.
Speaking to the media ahead of the much-awaiting encounter, Co-coach Rulani Mokwena added: “We have tried to collect as much information as we possibly can. We have tried to profile them from a qualitative perspective if you look at who they are and where they are in the ABC Motsepe.
“The situation for them is a bit complex in their league, but because of their focus in the cup, they have managed to do very well to get to this stage. Hopefully, the information that we’ve collected comes in handy for us to win the match.”
Mokoena highlighted that Mathaithai are one of the best counter-attacking teams with a blistering pace on the transition from the front three.
Things are looking to blossom now for the Free State club, and will be hoping to progress further in the Nedbank Cup competition.