When Pitso Mosimane got the sense that his Mamelodi Sundowns side were heading to the Telkom Knockout final, he chose to make “sacrifices” and spared his captain, Hlompho Kekana, from getting a second yellow card when Downs beat Golden Arrows 2-1 at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium Saturday.
Downs were already 2-0 up before half time through Kekana and Gaston Sirino, and while Mosimane managed to spare Kekana the red card, it was Sirino who was sent for an early shower when he got a straight red card following a rash tackle, leaving “Jingles” with a headache – Sirino had only just come back from injury after missing two games.
“I was afraid that Kekana was going to get a red card because I know the referee (Victor Gomes) is on top of those small fouls and he will give a yellow if he has to give one. So I scarified Kekana because we were 2-0 up and we took the risk of not going forward or playing well because we had the two goals already and we opted to secure the lead and we did well,” said Mosimane.
“It was right that Sirino was sent off, he is naughty, he went over the ball and he must get sent off when he does that, he deserved a straight red card.
“But how do you deal with Danny Phiri with yellow cards every day?
“How do you deal with Willard Katsande who gets yellow cards every day?
“Roy Keane [always got yellow cards] and with these kinds of players you know they will put you in that space all the time because they cannot control their temper,” he added.
Downs will be appearing in their first domestic cup final since 2016 where they lost the MTN8 to Bidvest Wits and Mosimane says a cup final will debunk the notion that Masandawana turn a blind eye to local knockout competitions.
“It is always good to give our supporters a cup final and they deserve better because it always seems as if we don’t really put a lot of effort into the local cups.
“It is good to be in the final and once we are there we might as well win it.
“My challenge now we will be playing every three days.