Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has conceded that the league title is for Orlando Pirates to lose, while also praising his side for continuing to fight for honours despite their gruelling schedule.
Sundowns went back level on points with the Buccaneers on Tuesday night with a 2-1 win over Black Leopards, but still remain second on the log table due to goal difference.
The match-up came just a few days after Downs competed in the Caf Champions League semi-finals in Morocco, and they will now have to quickly turn their attention to the return leg against Wydad Casablanca on Friday in Pretoria.
Speaking after the game, the former Bafana Bafana coach conceded that he wouldn’t mind if his team didn’t win the league, while praising their toughness for being subjected to an exacting programme.
‘Leopards were always quicker than us, faster, quicker on second balls because we don’t have the freshness, the legs to match them,’ Mosimane told SuperSport after the match.
‘We managed the game, especially in the second half, and you can see on my subs, we needed [Gaston] Sirino, we needed [Hlompho] Kekana and Themba Zwane, we have a big game on Saturday [against Wydad Casablanca].
‘These boys are unbelievable. If you look at our programme, no one in South Africa has a programme like us. No one. To play two [Caf] Champions Leagues in one programme. From Rabat [Morocco] to Thohoyandou, excuse me? It’s unbelievable. One and a half [day’] rest and they have to play football?’
‘For me it’s humbling. Like I said, I don’t mind, even if we don’t win the league. But I give credit to these boys to be able to play football in this programme. That’s why we had to rest Lebohang Maboe, we had to rest ”Sugar” [Tiyani Mabunda] because we don’t have the legs to do this programme. But these boys, they keep going, hey?
‘It’s unbelievable, as long as we keep pushing for the league, it’s not in our hands, it’s in Pirates’ hands in this point in time. The game of Wydad [Casablanca] is in Wydad’s hands. We have to go; the best thing is to give your best, and if you’re best is not good enough… but I tip my hat to come fight like these against well-rested teams? And fight for the league with well-rested teams? It’s unbelievable, it’s humbling,’ he said.
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