Sundowns seeking flu vaccine ahead of cup final

Majority of sick Mamelodi Sundowns players descended from the stands just for trophy celebration. Photo by BackpagePix
Majority of sick Mamelodi Sundowns players descended from the stands just for trophy celebration. Photo by BackpagePix

MAMELODI Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi is clinging to the hope that his key players will recover in time from an outbreak of flu ahead of the Nedbank Cup final against Marumo Gallants at Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Saturday (6pm).

Mngqithi revealed the flu outbreak had affected “a majority of players” before Monday’s final DStv Premiership match against Royal AM at Chatsworth in KZN.

Before the game, the Tshwane giants confirmed that Reyaad Pieterse, Denis Onyango, Thapelo Morena, Brian Onyango, Rushine De Reuck, Themba Zwane, Lesedi Kapinga, Lebohang Maboe, Andile Jali, Surprise Ralani, George Maluleka, Promise Mkhuma, Rivaldo Coetzee, Haashim Domingo, Pavol Safranko, Gift Motupa, and Kermit Erasmus were all affected.

They all missed the game and were forced to watch from the stands, but came down to the pitch after the match to celebrate winning the DStv Premiership trophy for the 12th time, and ending the season in fine style with a cracking 3-2 win over John Maduka’s side.

With the Nedbank Cup against Dan Malesela’s Gallants, Mngqithi said he’s hopeful the majority of the sick players will recover by Saturday.

“All the players you did not see on the pitch are not well. We only had 17 players because we did not have players,” said Mngqithi.

“I’m hopeful that they will be back (and recovered) for the Nedbank Cup final.”

Although Sundowns were not given much of a fight for the Premiership title this season, the former Golden Arrows coach said there’s a need for improvement from his side next season.

Having lost only three league matches against AmaZulu, Maritzburg United and Stellenbosch FC, Mngqithi said they had no business losing those matches.

Sundowns ended the season on 65 points, scoring 56 goals and conceding just 20.

“We conceded some silly goals this season and we have to improve in that,” Mngqithi added.

“But we have done fairly well by our standards, but we believe Sundowns can do better than this.”

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