- South African football legend Lefa Tsutsulupa chatted exclusively with Briefly News to preview the MTN8 semi-final match
- Even though they are on form, Tsutsulupa reckons that Mamelodi Sundowns are not favourites heading into the MTN8 semi-final clash against Golden Arrows on Tuesday
- At the same time, the dreadlocked former midfielder expects a thriller at Lucas Moripe Stadium as both teams are expected to play entertaining football
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Former Moroka Swallows midfielder Lefa Tsutsulupa believes Mamelodi Sundowns are under pressure to beat Golden Arrows and reach the MTN8 final.
The dreadlocked legend says even Abafana Bes’thende are feeling the heat because of the R8 million offered by the sponsors as prize money. This comes as Masandawana are getting ready to host the Durban-based side on Tuesday evening.
At the same time, Tsutsulupa also touched on the fact that Brazilians are hungry to lift this season’s Wafa Wafa trophy as they are yet to bag a gold medal since MTN came on board as title sponsors.
Lefa Tsutsulupa speaks exclusively about Mamelodi Sundowns
The former Bloemfontein Celtic star also says the fact that both teams are ball-playing sides will make the semi-final clash an interesting one. He told Briefly News:
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“Both teams are under pressure to reach the final and who wouldn’t be under pressure when R8 million is a prize to fight for? So, I think it’s going to be an interesting game, considering the fact that both sides are ball-playing teams.
“The fact that Sundowns has an away goal makes it more interesting because Golden Arrows will want to come out and play. They will want to attack and ensure they score and turn the game in their favour.”
Looking at their previous matches in the DStv Premiership, coach Manqoba Mngqithi’s troops are fresh from big wins over Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. However, the ex-MTN8 winner says that doesn’t mean they are the favourites to beat Lehlohonolo Seema’s outfit. He added:
“They are not necessarily favourites because a cup game is totally different from the league. This is the MTN8 and it’s Wafa Wafa. I believe whoever applies themselves better stands a good chance of winning it.
“They beat Chiefs and Pirates but they can’t undermine Arrows. Sure, I totally agree with the fact their morale is high. They have depth and quality, they have a winning mentality and they are on form as we speak.
"They beat big teams in their recent matches and they are confident. However, they still have to respect Arrows. This is a team that has young players who can beat any team on a good day. I think it’s more on the hunger side. Any team that possesses that can win this one.”
With the fans yet to be allowed back to the stands, the retired player also explored the fact that a cup semi-final has to be played on Tuesday. He continued with Briefly News:
“It is what is it is, we have to play the match and there’s are a lot of factors that contributed to the match being played on Tuesday. There are the CAF Confederation Cup fixtures and Champions League. These fixtures have to be considered. So, yeah it’s unusual to have a semi-final to be staged during the week.
“There’s also Covid-19 but the players have to go out there and do the job. We also have to finish work early and get ready for the big game in the evening.”
On the part of Arrows, the KwaZulu-Natal outfit comes from three league draws against Sekhukhune United, TS Galaxy as well as cross-town rivals, AmaZulu.
The first semi-final encounter will be staged at Lucas Moripe Stadium at 6pm and the aggregate score stands at 1-1.
“It’s coming home”: The Brazilians end Buccaneers' winning streak
In a previous report, Briefly News reported that Mamelodi Sundowns reasserted their dominance in the DSTV Premiership after ending Orlando Pirate's winning streak with a 2-0 victory.
Sundowns dominated possession in the early stage of the game and put a lot of pressure on Pirates. The match remained anyone's game until the second half when Thabiso Kutumela found Peter Shalulile, who put Sundowns in the lead with a goal.
Shalulile secured the Sundowns lead in the 71st minute after Lyle Lakay sent him the ball.