Fileccia: Downs have won the league
Posted: 20 April 2018 Time: 10:49
Maritzburg United striker Andrea Fileccia reckons Mamelodi Sundowns have the league title in the bag and have complete focus on bringing home the Nedbank Cup.
Sundowns’ 1-0 victory over Golden Arrows on Tuesday at Loftus Versfeld Stadium saw them move six points clear of sole challengers Orlando Pirates with three league games left.
Downs need only four more points to be crowned 2017/18 champions, with The Ghost naturally hoping for a spectacular collapse from the 2016 kings of Africa.
The Team of Choice will host the Brazilians on Sunday afternoon at Harry Gwala Stadium looking to reach a first ever Nedbank Cup final.
Maritzburg reached this stage of the competition in 2014 under current Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela, but they were stopped in their tracks by eventual winners Pirates.
Fileccia, who is the competition's top scorer with three goals this season, believes Pitso Mosimane's side are comfortably the best team in South Africa.
“It’s a difficult game for us, Sundowns is maybe the... no, Sundowns is the best team on the continent maybe and for sure the best team in South Africa,” Fileccia tells KickOff.com.
“It’ll be an important game of the season for us. And me, I’ve been thinking about this game since Monday because the semi-finals are just one leg, playing at home. I'm feeling very excited.
“They want to win the league; they want to win the Nedbank Cup. Now they know they’ve got six points more than Pirates with three games left. Obviously they’re going to win the league; they’re not going to give so much for that now and fall to us.
“They’ll now focus on the Nedbank Cup and we’ve got to play them again three days later [in the league match], so they’ll be very focused on this game.”
However, the ex-Free State Stars forward is determined to help his side crown off a fine season by winning silverware. Fadlu Davids' side have set a new club record with their points tally of 42, bettering the 40 they achieved with their maiden top-eight finish in 2014/15.
“I think winning the cup. Okay, finishing in the top three, that’ll be amazing. But winning something like a cup in 2018 and you can say ‘Maritzburg the Nedbank Cup champions’, that would be history,” said the Belgian, who is of Italian descent and can also speak French.
“It’s not like finishing second, third on the table, but we won something and that’ll be in the club’s history books forever.”
Kick-off on Sunday is at 15h00.