Mamelodi Sundowns coach Mokwena opens up on Themba Zwane injury against Kaizer Chiefs - 'Big blow and we’re literally down to bare bones'

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Themba Zwane, Rhulani Mokwena, Mamelodi Sundowns
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rhulani Mokwena has responded to a question about captain Themba Zwane's injury sustained against Kaizer Chiefs.
  • Chiefs hosted Sundowns in the MTN8 semis on Saturday
  • The match ended in a 1-1 draw
  • Zwane lasted just 37 minutes of the contest

WHAT HAPPENED? Zwane limped off the pitch in the 37th minute in the MTN8 semi-final, first-leg match at FNB Stadium on Saturday and he was replaced by Lesiba Nku.

It was a match in which the Brazilians had to rely on defender Khuliso Mudau to grab their equalising goal in stoppage time for a 1-1 draw after Edson Castillo had thrust Amakhosi ahead.

Zwane looked lively, promising to hurt the Soweto giants and his substitution could be felt.

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WHAT WAS SAID: “He is so important, especially for two reasons for how we want to play and number two because he’s the captain,” said Mokwena as per iDiski Times.

“Losing him was big blow and we’re literally down to bare bones in the attacking department with the strikers and we’ve to make due with what we have.

“Mshishi was playing in a 10, 9 position, where we don’t have Nasir [Abubeker], we don’t have Peter [Shalulile], we don’t have Thapelo Morena, we don’t have Thapelo Maseko, so you can understand what it does.

“But, at Mamelodi Sundowns I’m not paid to make excuses, I’m finding solutions and together with the technical team we did our best again today to find solutions.

“I have to be careful because I can’t be a Sundowns coach and celebrate draws. I will get into big trouble.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: With the season still in its infancy, Sundowns are already enduring a long injury list and they hope Zwane will not be out for a long time.

Casualties include the likes of top marksman Peter Shalulile, Thapelo Maseko, Thapelo Morena and Rushine de Reuck.

But thanks to squad depth, they have managed to do business on the pitch without the key players.

The injury situation comes before they enter a critical stage of the season in which they are competing in six competitions including the inaugural African Football League.

This might force Mokwena to carefully manage his players to ensure key men are available for crucial assignments as the season progresses.

WHAT NEXT? The PSL goes on a break with the Fifa international week taking centre stage. After that, Chiefs resume their PSL schedule while Sundowns turn their attention to the Caf Champions League.