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Golden Arrows v Mamelodi Sundowns

Kekana-inspired Mamelodi Sundowns show desire to fix Telkom Knockout Cup mistakes

12:46 PM IST 24/11/19
Hlompho Kekana of Mamelodi Sundowns, September 2019
It's common knowledge that the Brazilians have in the past struggled in the TKO but they appear to have found their groove this time around

Mamelodi Sundowns again showed just why they are one of the best teams in the PSL, if not in Africa, with a statement of intent against Golden Arrows

As Pitso Mosimane always says, winning the MTN8 Cup has been a mission almost impossible, but they showed with a win over Abafana Bes'thende that they are not going to let teams roll over them in the Telkom Knockout Cup. 

The odds were stacked up against them after going into Saturday's semi-final in Clermont struggling for results in their last four matches prior to the Arrows clash. 

However, the majority of fans expected them to blunt Arrows and seal their spot in the final and they did just that, thanks to a Hlompho Kekana-inspired performance on the day. 

It's safe to say Sundowns wrapped up the match in the first half - Kekana's bullet header and an assist to Gaston Sirino on the stroke of half-time were enough to brush aside Steve Komphela's men. 

Kekana wasn't one of the players expected to lead Sundowns to victory because he plays in a deeper role - players such as Sirino and Mauricio Affonso were the ones fans would have pinned their hopes on. 

But experience came to the fore and this is what Sundowns needed - to score goals and manage the game to the end. 

After being cautioned inside the opening three minutes of the encounter, one would have thought Kekana would play with fear and pull out of challenges in an attempt to avoid a red card but he fought and took the game to Arrows - leading his cohorts from the front throughout. 

On the flip side of the coin, Komphela was hoping for a repeat of two weeks ago when they stunned Sundowns on a rainy pitch at Clermont but this wasn't to be.

This is was a performance filled with hunger and no one can deny that Sundowns are desperate to return to the top with a trophy or two in the PSL. 

They have dominated the league over the years but everyone was worried about their Cup pedigree which will again be tested by whoever they meet in the final on December 14.

As things stand, Sundowns have a good chance of correcting mistakes of the past, where they have been to only three finals since the current sponsors took over in 2006. 

There is no doubt that Mosimane has a team willing to fight for titles and history will recognise his success, more so, if Sundowns win this one - which would be his second with the club.

As previously stated, Sundowns have struggled in the Telkom Knockout Cup and they need this big performance to enhance their chances of making their fans happy before the Christmas break.

Sundowns may still have something to celebrate in 2019 as they lifted the PSL trophy not so long ago but winning the TKO would be sweeter as it would ease the pressure on Mosimane, who has recently been criticised by a section of the club's fans as the team failed to win their matches.