Is Mamelodi Sundowns facing a crisis as internal challenges start to impact their performance? Are Rhulani Mokwena and his team experiencing a rough patch?

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Masandawana’s recent performances have raised doubts about their usual dominance, falling below expectations.


Despite their dominant position in the Premier Soccer League, Sundowns have encountered notable hurdles in recent matches. On April 15th, the Brazilians held a comfortable two-goal lead, only to relinquish it and settle for a 2-2 draw against Moroka Swallows.


In the Nedbank Cup quarter-finals, they faced a tough challenge from the University of Pretoria, a National First Division side, resulting in a 1-1 draw and a tense penalty shootout to secure victory.


Likewise, in the Caf Champions League, their journey to the semi-finals was marked by a narrow 3-2 penalty shootout triumph, with goalkeeper Ronwen Williams playing a pivotal role.



A striker in the shadows



Peter Shalulile faces increasing pressure to break his goal drought, which has lingered for six weeks since his penalty strike on March 2nd against TP Mazembe in the Caf Champions League group stage.


With only one goal since the start of the year, his performance has been lackluster, especially highlighted by his struggles during the Africa Cup of Nations. Despite opportunities to shine, finding the net has been elusive for him.


Adding to his challenge is the rise of Lucas Ribeiro Costa, who has shown prowess in scoring goals. While Ribeiro’s form may offer a solution, the absence of Shalulile’s lethal presence in the attack is felt by Sundowns, leaving them eager for his return to peak performance.


Also Check: League Title Race: Former Kaizer Chiefs striker injects hope into Orlando Pirates by defeating Mamelodi Sundowns.



Strain from Mileage



Teboho Mokoena’s exceptional performance for Sundowns has garnered attention, yet concerns arise regarding the team’s heavy reliance on him across various competitions. From league fixtures to events like the MTN8, African Football League, Caf Champions League, and Nedbank Cup, Mokoena has been a constant presence.


Additionally, he represented Bafana Bafana at Afcon, playing a significant role in their achievements. However, despite his professionalism, players are susceptible to fatigue and injuries. This vulnerability was evident in the match against Swallows, where Mokoena scored but immediately appeared to suffer a hamstring injury.


With the pivotal Caf Champions League semi-final looming, effective player workload management by the Sundowns technical team becomes crucial to prevent exhaustion and injuries.



Carrying the Weight



Ronwen Williams, the goalkeeper for Sundowns, finds himself under intense pressure as his remarkable form continues unabated, consistently delivering standout performances in every match. Much like Mokoena, Williams has been pivotal across all competitions, shouldering a significant portion of the team’s responsibilities, particularly during their recent setbacks.


Without the 32-year-old’s extraordinary saves, Sundowns might have seen their Nedbank Cup and Caf Champions League aspirations come to an end. While Williams deserves praise for his heroic efforts, it’s crucial to recognize his humanity; the mental strain of high-pressure situations can be draining. The upcoming weeks before the season’s end will be critical for him to maintain composure. Otherwise, Sundowns risk concluding the campaign on a disappointing note.



Mokwena’s Frustration



Rhulani Mokwena has openly addressed the hurdles his team faces, from managing players’ mood swings and frustrations stemming from a demanding schedule, to grappling with the repercussions of enforced lineup changes on team dynamics.


While these factors may influence their current performance, Sundowns, as a prominent club boasting considerable talent depth, should have capable substitutes primed to step up. Many sidelined players could easily secure starting spots in other PSL clubs.


Once again, the spotlight falls on the persistent reliance on the same players without adequate squad rotation. This lack of variety presents challenges when adjustments are necessary, leading to below-par team displays. Undoubtedly, this is a crucial issue that Mokwena and his technical team must tackle head-on.


Also Check: Confirmed: Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns to face different opponents in Nedbank Cup semi-final.



Pinnacle of Achievement



Sundowns, perennial leaders in the realm of football accomplishments, stand on the brink of cementing their legacy within the club’s annals.


Their path includes a showdown in the Nedbank Cup semi-finals against Stellenbosch, a clash with Esperance in the two-legged Caf Champions League semi-final, and a relentless pursuit of the league title.


Moreover, they’re vying for the prestigious title of the most valuable club on the continent, currently trailing behind Egyptian giants Al Ahly in market value. With such monumental stakes in play, Sundowns must spare no effort in safeguarding the club’s esteemed standing and further elevating their eminence in African football.



Closing Remarks

After exploring sundry facets surrounding Sundowns, attention now turns to the strategies Mokwena and his team will deploy, leveraging their adeptness at steering through adversity.


Do you reckon Sundowns possess the mettle to secure the quadruple? Sound off in the comments!




Also Check: Victors & Defeated: Orlando Pirates standout silences doubters while Mamelodi Sundowns lose momentum and Gavin Hunt faces humiliation


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