Pitso v Benni: Who will come out on top?
PRETORIA – It’s the plucky new kid on the block versus the most successful team in the PSL era with a record nine league titles.
It’s two outspoken coaches who entertain with their sharp tongues as much as their teams entertain with the exciting football they play.
It’s the new school, driven by a captivating and fresh social-media presence, versus one of the old guards who are moving at a snail’s pace to be in with the times.
Cape Town City versus Mamelodi Sundowns is slowly becoming one of the most exciting matches in South Africa for a number of reasons.
Another instalment of this match will play itself out at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Tuesday night in the league.
The three-year-old club visit a Sundowns team that are looking to celebrate their 50th anniversary next year with a 10th league title in the PSL era.
Benni McCarthy and Pitso Mosimane will put on their own show on the sidelines with their antics, fuelled by their passion and hatred for losing.
Both coaches are sore losers because winning is second nature to them, but there is also a mutual respect that the pair enjoy.
McCarthy speaks highly of Mosimane, whom he rates as one of the best coaches in South Africa.
Mosimane has been full of praise for McCarthy, even tipping him to be the next Bafana Bafana coach.
Their teams are a reflection of their personalities. Mosimane’s Sundowns are methodical and ruthless, while McCarthy’s City are over the top – they win and lose in grand style, with a penchant for dramatic comebacks.
The fans who will be at the stadium will get their money’s worth.
The contrasting fortunes these teams come into the match with will shape their approach.
City are looking to make up for their surprise elimination in the MTN8 by Polokwane City on Saturday.
Sundowns, who have a reputation for starting their seasons slowly, will look to continue with the momentum that saw them easily dispatch Bloemfontein Celtic in the MTN8 on Saturday.
But Sundowns did drop two points in their last league match against Chippa United last week.
Mosimane isn’t reading too much into that start or who is at the top of the league this early into the season.
“It’s a marathon,” Mosimane said. “If you are going to look up and get worried who is on top of the log, you are going to make mistakes.
“We have won the league four times, we know how to win it. At one stage, we were 11 points behind, and we won the league.
“Last season, we were top of the log two times. Once when we played Cape Town City here, and within three days, they cancelled it.
“That’s why we only won one quarter. But what’s (the) point? The point is to win the league.
“It’s too early… there is still a long way to go. It’s not going to be easy. Don’t worry about who is on top – focus on the process.”