Vilakazi targets TKO honours

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While he was with Sundowns during their CAF Champions League triumph in Egypt last year, Vilakazi was not registered for the competition and therefore is not recognised as a champion.

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He did, however, win the CAF Super Cup earlier this year when Sundowns beat DRC giants TP Mazembe, and is now hoping he can lift his first domestic trophy with the Brazilians in the shape of the Telkom Knockout.

Pitso Mosimane's side won the event in 2015, when they beat Kaizer Chiefs 3-1 in the final at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Sundowns kick-start their TKO campaign with a clash away from home against Chippa United on Sunday, determined to impress against a side high on confidence after the weekend’s 2-1 victory over Cape Town City.

“There are no easy games. It’s a cup game and it’s one opportunity. The MTN8 did not go our way, so it’s a chance to dust ourselves [off]. It’s been a while since we’ve tasted glory in terms of trophies in our cabinet, so we are looking to try by all means to get this one for the team. We face Chippa and then we will see from there,” said Vilakazi.

Since the departure of coach Dan Malesela, who prioritised a passing game, Chippa are more of an attack-minded side, using the pace and skill of players such as Mark Mayambela and Phetso Maphanga on the flanks to cause problems for the opponents.

Vilakazi says it will be important for Sundowns to study Chippa.

“When you face an opponent, we try as much as possible to look at their [previous] games, to see how they have been playing for a couple of games. It’s going to be important for us to study their team, to look at their strengths and look at how they build up, so that we are prepared,” he said.

“But most importantly it’s how we implement our game. We need to try win and get to the next stage. It was disappointing not to win something last season, so we are hoping to put ourselves in a good position whereby we are in the final.”

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