COMMENT: Mamelodi Sundowns' season now rests on domestic success

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Masandawana may be disappointed to have missed out on the continental final but winning the league will be seen as adequate redemption

Another year and Mamelodi Sundowns bowed out of the Caf Champions League without adding another star above their logo.

Masandawana recently lost to Wydad Casablanca 2-1 on aggregate as they failed to find a way past the Moroccans and saw their campaign end in tears.

Sundowns though will take many lessons out of this year’s continental exploits and while it might be seen as a disappointment for the Tshwane giants, it could now be the motivation needed to win the Premier Soccer League (PSL) once again.

Pitso Mosimane’s men are just a point behind Orlando Pirates with two games remaining in the campaign, and they will now change focus as soon as Tuesday night as they take on Golden Arrows.

While it won’t be plain sailing against an Abafana Bes’thende side, the expectation of silverware will be on Sundowns’ shoulders to ensure that they end the season with a trophy.

Baroka FC v Mamelodi Sundowns, April 2019

This is where the first lesson learned comes in for Sundowns.

Playing on the continent has taught the defending PSL champions to deal with pressure which should help them over their next two games especially in the final clash which is away to Free State Stars.

Nonetheless, Sundowns have also shown a knack for coming to the party when it counts most and although they will be slightly fatigued, winning should be the only thing on their mind.

Also, Sundowns’ elimination from the continental competition does make Mosimane’s job a lot easier.

Rather than having to plan for a further four games, he and his technical team have only two more games to worry about, this allows him to have a bit more freedom in his selection.

Sundowns v Wydad PS

With the rigours of the PSL not as difficult to handle as African football, Mosimane could potentially choose to give some of the more experienced campaigners a rest while giving some of the younger faces a run.

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While this is a risk, the younger players such as Rivaldo Coetzee have shown that they can compete and mix it with the best in the PSL which is the depth that not many teams enjoy.

Nevertheless, Mosimane has previously suggested that he wouldn’t be concerned should Sundowns miss out on the league title, but that was said before their elimination.

 The stage is also set for Sundowns to secure their ninth PSL title, so Mosimane’s focus would certainly have changed as a successful season rests firmly on winning a title.    

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