Downs still have plent to play for


“We still have to be professional,” Nthethe explains. “I don’t think we have to prove anything because we did that by winning the title, but at the same time nothing should change. We should still play the same way and the coach has been emphasising that.

“There’s a target we are trying to reach and we know if we win the two remaining games (against Wits and Platinum Stars) we will reach a record 71 points in the PSL.”

Sundowns looked to be suffering from a championship hangover at the weekend when they conceded a goal in the first minute of their CAF Confederation Cup group stages play-off clash against visitors Medeama SC at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.

The final result was a satisfactory one in the end, the Brazilians turning up late to score three goals in the final 10 minutes of the match to win 3-1 ahead of next week’s second leg in Ghana.

“Most people thought we were not serious about winning, but that is not true,” says Nthethe. “We were determined to win and never wanted to concede because of what happened to us against AS Vita (who knocked Sundowns out of the more prestigious CAF Champions League last month). They were doing things that we couldn’t cope with until very late in the match.”

Asked whether tonight’s encounter against second-placed Wits will be a way to show that the Brazilians have been the better side throughout the season during the title race, the former Bafana Bafana rearguard claims the thought hasn’t even crossed his mind.

“To be honest, we have just been focused on keeping things as they are. Imagine going into the last game of the season and losing. Even if you are champions, to lift the trophy when you have been defeated in a match is not a nice feeling,” he says.

The PSL will continue with their tradition and hand over the trophy on May 21 to crown the new champions, who were confirmed a week ago when Sundowns beat neighbours University of Pretoria 3-0 at the Tuks Stadium.

The only real suspense in the build-up to tonight’s clash at the Bidvest Stadium is seeing Wits form a guard of honour for Sundowns. It’s not a require-ment, but a sign of true sports-manship, hence there is uncertainty regarding whether this will take place before kick-off.

“I heard there should be something like that. If it happens it will be nice, if not that is also fine by us because we know we are champions,” says Nthethe, who will be lifting his second league title with Sundowns since his arrival at the club in January 2014 from Bloemfontein Celtic. - The Star

Original source: Downs still have plent to play for