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Mbatha: Sundowns Was Scared Of Us

  • June 4, 2024
  • 3 min read
Mbatha: Sundowns Was Scared Of Us

Orlando Pirates midfielder Thalente Mbatha says Mamelodi Sundowns feared them in the Nedbank Cup final, saying that shouldn’t come as a surprise because the Soweto giants are also a big team.  

Pirates, unlike not many teams do against Sundowns, came from behind to beat the African giants 2-1 in the Nedbank Cup final at Mbombela Stadium on Saturday.  

To add on their comeback, Sipho Chaine saved the penalty of Lucas Ribeiro Costa in the six minutes after Khuliso Mudau was bodychecked by Deon Hotto and referee Skhumbuzo Gasa pointed to the spot kick. 

“I think we achieved that because at the end of the day, we got the results and we came back with a trophy,” said Mbatha.  

It was surprising to see Mbatha keep things so calm in the midfield, especially late in the second half when he was left alone in the deep number six position after coach Jose Riveiro took off Makhehlene Makhaula.   

Mbatha, despite Sundowns being known for quick thinking to take advantage and their devilish inter-passing to pull teams apart, kept it cool and won many balls. Mbatha even blasted one from range in the first half after striding forward but missed the target. 

The 24-year-old explained the confidence that came with it, saying he was in the right space and at the right club and needed this platform to shine. In the end, despite winning the trophy, Mbatha scored himself a Man of the Match award.  

“I could say that because, as I said, we are also a big team,” Mbatha told Sportswire. 

“As much as we are intimidated, they are also intimidated by who is playing. Whenever we are playing against them, they are also scared on what is going to happen.”  

It was the second time Pirates this season had come from behind against Sundowns, having done so in the DStv Premiership in February.  

“This is great club because we haven’t been performing well in the past games having come from two losses and a draw,” said Mbatha when asked of denting Sundowns of claiming the unique treble. 

“So, I think it’s a pretty achievement for us as a team. I would like to say congratulations to Orlando Pirates.”  

Mbatha was signed by Pirates on loan from SuperSport United in the January transfer window and the player said what happened about his future in future is out of his hands.

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Robin-Duke Madlala

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