PSL champions Mamelodi Sundowns face what’s perhaps the stiffest test of their title defence as they travel to meet Orlando Pirates on Monday, and captain Hlompho Kekana is banking on a bit of luck to see them through.
Brazilians have had the Soweto giants’ number in recent years, most famously thumping them 6-0 at Loftus Versfeld in 2017 before reaffirming their dominance with back-to-back away victories at Orlando Stadium.
The Bafana midfielder was on target in the most recent of those wins, netting two extraordinary strikes as the visitors ran off 3-1 victors on their way to a record eighth PSL title in the 2017/18 season.
Speaking ahead of Monday night’s encounter, he acknowledged the role luck has had to play in his side’s proud record away to Pirates.
“We always play well against them away from home, but I think luck also plays a role.
“You always have to prepare yourself very well but luck plays an important role and I hope that we are lucky again.
“My long-range goal there also had a bit of luck in it, but we are not going to rely on that only.
“We are preparing like any other match, and we will are going to give our all and try to win it.”
Sundowns top the league standings as they sit three points ahead of their third-placed opponents, with 2016/17 league champions, Bidvest Wits separating the two sides in second place.
With half a dozen games remaining for all teams in the top eight after Monday night’s encounter, the likes of Cape Town City, Supersport United and Kaizer Chiefs are all strong title contenders. Hence Kekana believes this one fixture will not determine the race for top honours.
“When I look at the log standings‚ there are about four to five teams who can still win this league‚” he said.
“There is still a lot of football to be played before the end of the season and I honestly don’t think the result of this match on Monday will decide who will win the league.”
Kick off on Monday is at 19:30.