Downs Secure Champions League Spot

28/May/2017 09:09

Mamelodi Sundowns secured second spot in the final Absa Premiership League log with a 2-2 draw against Highlands Park in a game that was pedestrian at best as the Thembisa side fought for retention of their Premiership status at the Makhulong Stadium.

The Tshwane Giants needed to win to secure second spot, but their rivals for the second spot Cape Town City slipped up against Polokwane City to ease the pressure on the African champions.

But Highlands had none of the luxury. It was win or bust, and in the end,not even a draw could save them from relegation.

The Brazilians were comfortable on the ball, using spurts of attacks to put pressure on Highlands.

But it was Highlands who dominated early, but they could not find their way through the Sundowns defensive line.

The Tshwane Giants had several forays, and on 20 minutes Tebogo Langerman crossed the ball into the box, but Yannick Zakri could not get the power he was looking for with the Highlands goalie Tapuwa Kapini making an easy save.

Once more the combination between Percy Tau and Zakri was asking questions of the Highlands defence, but it was Themba Zwane whose curling rocket found the back of the net to give Sundowns the lead.

The Highlands faithful on the stands could read the signs. Unless their side got a breakthrough they were doomed.  One held up a poster pleading with Sundowns boss Patrice Motsepe to make a donation of three points.

But coach Pitso Mosimane’s boys were not about to be generous. Zakri, who was being hacked when in posession, was brought down in the box.  Thabo Nthete walked up and coolly put the ball past Kapini to double Sundowns lead.

Highlands continued their quest for goals, and towards the half time break were rewarded when Seun Ledwaba beat Denis Onyango to bring the score to 2-1.

In the second half, Highlands pushed for the equaliser, but Sundowns passing game neutralized their attack. The Brazilians were relaxed as they passed the ball around, and Highlands were doing the chasing.

Their attacks came from snatching and intercepting, and ever so often Onyango was called on to save.

Anele Ngconca pulled up with what seemed to be a thigh sprain, and Siyanda Zwane came on.

The Brazilians had several chances to increase their lead, and Kapini had to make a double save to deny them.

For Highlands Mothobi Mvala kept up the pressure and came close when his shot went wide with Onyango to beat.

But well into added time he headed in to get the equaliser for his side, but when the final whistle came it signaled the end of the campaign of the Lions of the North in the PSL.  Downs on the other hand, had secured second place on the final log and a spot in the CAF Champions League.

Starting lineup:

Denis Onyango, Thapelo Morena, Thabo Nthete,, Motjeka Madisha, Anele Ngconca , (Siyanda Zwane) Tebogo Langerman, Lucky Mohomi, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Yannick Zakri, Themba Zwane, Percy Tau.

19 Responses to Downs Secure Champions League Spot

  1. Rendi says:

    2-2 vs Highlands Park
    2-2 vs Maritzburg
    2-2 vs Baroka

    what worries me though is that against Highlands Park and Baroka, it was the same thing of conceding towards the break and surrending the lead at the final whistle.
    What is going on Really?

    • ayanda says:

      Since our Central defender in Arendse was injured it has been the story of the day that we often concede more than one goal recently, I have been saying that somebody there is overrated and is costing us, look at the opportunities that our opponents are squandering , let alone those they score, you will realise that Arendse is not replaceable by the current central defenders there, even Mr Cool at his age is still far better than these other central defenders there. I rest my case. There is not cover there at all, when our full backs have overlapped ,which is the modern day football , our central defers are often exposed MNXM.As for the second goal, those guys w here ball watching there not marking.

  2. Rendi says:

    And 2-2 vs platinum Stars

  3. Rendi says:

    2-2 vs Highlands Park
    2-2 vs Maritzburg
    2-2 vs Baroka
    2-2 vs Platinum Stars
    what worries me though is that against Highlands Park and Baroka, it was the same thing of conceding towards the break and surrending the lead at the final whistle.
    What is going on Really?

  4. Themba says:

    I think the introduction of Mabunda was our downfall immediately when he came we started to sit back and defended too deep.we did nt press them like we did in the first half.I do not think playing two defensive midfielders suit of us.our Technical team should know better that the way defending is by attacking and unsettling your opponents

  5. Joseph says:

    Wrll done to the team. Truth be told, after so much games during a short period of time, we didn’t do bad this season. Finishing second and securing the Caf sport, couldn’t ask for much. And the fact that we were in DRC on Wednesday, arriving back Thursday late and only had Friday yo prepare. Well done to the team as a whole, salute. We will be better next season, we learning everytime. Ka bo yellow masandawana. Themba Zwane our player of the season, and the team as who whole did very well this season. Good job to the technical team.

  6. Mzimela says:

    Thats where lost legue unnecessary draws leaking bad that cause by reshuffling of back line if not rectified i see disaster on next season while lead by 2 never push for more instead do that thousands passes as if are 10 nil i wonder when these players will learn this time i blame them instead of techincal team

  7. Pat says:

    At least we will at CAF Champions League

  8. Pat says:

    At least we will play at CAF Champions League as we are number 2 on the log

  9. Krok says:

    One possible explanation of why we leaking so many goals is that our front three don’t chase after the ball once they concede possession;unlike last season where the CBD would work hard to close down the opposition. The Frontline is the first line of defense and Tau and Zakri need to improve their work rate in this regard..

  10. dion says:

    Joseph I agree with you 110% Themba Zwane is our player of the Season, Let’s go to Lucas Moripe on Friday to support our team against Esperance.KBY Forever

    • mashasha says:

      Member we are there.I’m still proud of our team for putting us on a map.Now we have previledge to watch other big teams in Africa live.What an experience we have as Sundowns family and that is why I will always salute our soldiers.

  11. Mzimela says:

    Why sundowns fail import quality foreign players on direct import always get flop our scout are not gud

  12. Boitumelo says:

    2 sessions of non stop football is not a child’s play. Sundowns’ down well. I’m proud. Now other team are going to rest, we have just started with the CAFCL. Amazing.

  13. Sam-4-Downz says:

    This was a disgrace.

  14. MANKERS says:

    That was not very cool, This thing of conceeding an average of 2 goals per game of recent, shows weakness in our defence. Pls couch do something ASAP or else the sheap will sink. Thanx to Polokwane city for guaranteeing us that CAF spot next year. Allutor continuor.

    Yellow Remain

  15. I appeal to coach and management to sign MVALA from highlands park, KHUNE from kaizer chiefs, BROKIE from supersports and MAHAMUSA from free state stars. Please amen, I an saying that because MAHAMUSA is hungry to achieve lot with sundowns, please lets give them a chance please. Amen

  16. MVALA remind me ANDRIES CHICHA, MAHAMUSA remind me EWI KHAMBULE, BROKIE remind me RAPHAEL CHUKWU while KHUNE remind me JOHN TLALE. What a class of players. Amen

  17. Malatji says:

    Some supporters need to be called into order, Sundowns,my team ,has done the unexpected n I thank our management for managing this club so far,no matter al critics,in Pitso I believe