Sport

Sundowns embrace pressure of Premiership title chase

Sapa

Mamelodi Sundowns are thriving under the pressure at the top of the Premier Soccer League, says coach Pitso Mosimane.

Anthony Laffor of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates his goal with Ramahlwe Mphahlele. (Gallo)

Having gone level on points with Premiership-topping Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday, Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane said his players are thriving under the pressure of challenging for the league title.

"We need to keep the league exciting and if we drop the ball, it's not nice," Mosimane said after the game at Loftus Versfeld.

"My players love the stress, they love the pressure and they feel like they can't lose."

Anthony Laffor put Sundowns ahead in first-half injury time, before Tuks drew level midway through the second period, courtesy of Atusaye Nyondo's header in the 63rd minute.

Sundowns held their nerve and took the lead once more through Lebohang Mokoena shortly after and held on for their fifth successive league victory, and sixth in all competitions.

Points on the board
Three points were enough for Sundowns to keep Chiefs on their toes in the league standing, but they still trail the Soweto outfit because of an inferior goal difference.

Mosimane said Sundowns were content with the points and not going top of the log, heaping praise on a resilient Tuks team that came close to spoiling their party.

"Hard-earned points; we were sweating, we really fought for it," the former Bafana Bafana mentor said.

"Our opponents showed what they said before the game, that we [Sundowns] were not going to get it for free, we have to fight for it and earn it.

"In all the games that we've played here [at Loftus], this was the most difficult one to take."

Title pressure
Sunday's result put the pressure squarely on the shoulders of Chiefs, who welcome the Brazilians to a potentially title-deciding Premiership fixture at FNB Stadium next weekend.

The pair are deadlocked on 49 points, although Amakhosi have two games in hand and could restore a six-point lead over Mosimane's men.

But Mosimane said his charges were up for the challenge and that they would make a serious charge for the title.

"My team has integrity and the will to go for it," he said.

"Whoever wins it [the league] will earn it, we're not going to give it to anybody on a silver platter.

"We have a game on Saturday, we will give our best, we will fight." – Sapa

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