Pitso’s piece of Sundowns history

Thumbnail

But then again Pitso Mosimane has never been one to do things in half measures.

When he became the first black local coach to win the league title, Jingles did so with a campaign so compelling he quickly proclaimed he’d retain the championship.

In leading Sundowns to their first ever cup final victory over Kaizer Chiefs since the advent of the National Soccer League (NSL) era, Mosimane again showed his genius - his team outclassing Chiefs in all the departments that you’d have sworn they were playing a lower division outfit.

Ahead of this match, Mosimane had said it was all up to the players to do the job. He described himself as being aware of what little impact shouting from the touchline in a packed stadium will have on the outcome of the match.

But he did a lot of screaming last night, alright! For nearly a third of the match, the Sundowns coach was on his feet, shouting instructions, gesticulating wildly and even having a go at the officials.

At every stoppage he called the team to the sideline to make some adjustments to the way they were playing.

Such is his passion for the game; such is his desire for success. And boy he got it here last night as his team tore Chiefs to pieces, leading to the likes of Daniel Mudau celebrating wildly at the final whistle.

Now retired, Mudau had said before kick-off that it was about time Sundowns ended Chiefs’ domination over them. This after all, is a man who had been on the receiving end of many defeats to Amakhosi.

He was captain when Chiefs twice beat Sundowns in successive Rothmans Cup finals in the late 90s. And on both occasions Amakhosi won in shoot-outs from the penalty spot.

Another of Chiefs’ victory over the Brazilians was also in the lottery of the penalties, the self same Telkom Knockout back in 2009.

None of Mosimane’s players were at Sundowns during those years and so while their club had a poor record against Chiefs in final, none of them had the baggage of history to contend with.

All they wanted was to see themselves running around the field at the end of the match with the winners medals dangling down their necks. And they took the game to Chiefs from the first whistle, Sundowns winning every tackle and being first to every loose ball.

They were duly rewarded as they scored three good goals while their goalkeeper Dennis Onyango dished out a Man of the Match winning performance that saw him save two penalties and pull off some brilliant stops.

Behind it all though was the genius that is Mosimane. The Sundowns coach was never going to be content with having prepared the team as he’d said he had, but he was continuously cajoling, encouraging and sometimes lashing out even at his players for poor moves.

Today he will wake up with not only another winner’s medal to hang in his trophy room at home, but also a distinction to add to his coaching career - that of being the first coach to lead Sundowns to a cup final victory over Kaizer Chiefs. And boy did he end the jinx emphatically. - The Star

Original source: Pitso’s piece of Sundowns history

by