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Mamelodi Sundowns coach Mngqithi already looking beyond Orlando Pirates in MTN8 title defence

20:53 GMT+4 30/08/2022
Manqoba Mngqithi, Mamelodi Sundowns, March 2022
After seeing off the challenge of Tshwane rivals SuperSport United last weekend, Masandawana now face the Soweto giants

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi is confident they will retain the MTN8 trophy despite having to first deal with Orlando Pirates, who they meet in the semi-finals.

The Brazilians will visit Pirates for the first leg on October 1, before hosting the Soweto giants three weeks later.

But Mngqithi is already focused beyond the semi-finals despite Pirates standing in their way.

“I think this was never going to be an easy draw for anyone when you have four teams that are currently doing well,” Mngqithi told Sundowns’ media department.

“You could expect anything, we could have had AmaZulu or Kaizer Chiefs and all of them are currently doing well.

"So we just have to take whoever we get and trust in our process and in our team. We think our team is capable of defending our trophy and we will give it our best shot.”

In the event that Sundowns get past Pirates, they will meet either Kaizer Chiefs or AmaZulu in the final.

While Mngqithi sounds bullish, he, however, assured he would not take the Buccaneers for granted.

“With all that is necessary of course, we can never take anyone for granted in this competition,” added Mngqithi.

“More especially this season every team is really working very hard to show that they are prepared. So we will give it our best shot.”

Sundowns beat Tshwane rivals SuperSport 2-0 to reach the MTN8 semi-finals while Pirates edged Royal AM 2-1.

Masandawana are bidding to retain the MTN8 which they won last season in what was the fourth time they won it.

Their opponents are the most successful team in this competition with 10 titles, five behind Kaizer Chiefs.