Mamelodi Sundowns new signings are growing to become one of the Yellow Nation’s favorites after a thrilling victory against Marumo Gallants in Polokwane.
Slovakian international Pavol Šafranko registered his second goal in the DStv Premiership to add to his MTN8 goal that he scored early in the season. Downs Coach Manqoba Mngqithi reflected on Šafranko’s presence and progress with the champions.
“We are very happy with the progress that he’s making in the team, and for a player like him, it’s not only about scoring, but the work ethic that he puts in and makes sure that he helps in our defensive strategies and he’s very important in that space. On set pieces he’s a big factor both offensively and defensively, and he has something to give us behind the defense. We believe that Šafranko still has goals in him, he’s still going to help us, he’s gaining confidence, in the first half he created a very beautiful moment for Neo Maema and that could’ve easily been a very good assist.”
Adding to the brilliance of Masandawana’s quality of players is Neo Maema who received his second man of the match accolade in a row after The Brazilians’ 4-0 thumping of Gallants. The Free State-born star has already featured in 8 matches for Masandawana and has 1 goal and 4 assists attached to his name.
“This is the second [Man of the Match] in a row, I can only thank God, my teammates for the phenomenal support and the coaches. We go into the FIFA break without conceding a goal, adding to our goal scoring tally and assists.” Maema said.
Adding applause and appraisal for the signing on the left full back was Coach Manqoba Mngqithi, he said: “We know what [Neo] is capable of, but what is more encouraging for us is when a young player like Neo presents himself as a player that has got a goal and a player that has got assists. It improves his assists and that is what we want with offensive players. It’s easy in South Africa to have an offensive player that does not take a shot at goal, does not have an assist, but is highly respected. Neo Maema is a player with goals, with a cross, that dribbles, with a pass and those are very important qualities.”
The 26-year old midfielder has already impressed Sundowns fans with his goal scoring abilities and fearlessness since joining Bafana Ba Style at the start of the new season. Maema gave insight on the day’s encounter that solidified their position in the DStv Premiership.
“It’s never easy playing away from home, you can only do as much as getting the three points and then go home. They were actually coming at us and putting pressure on us, 1-0 scoreline isn’t safe so we had to do something to get the second one in order for the pressure to ease a bit and once we got the second goal, it opened up for the third and the fourth.”
“First half they opened up a bit and played right into our game plan. We should’ve scored more than two goals but I am glad we got the one goal that gave us the momentum to go forward. The second half was always going to be tough, they changed a few things and closed the spaces, but we did very well and scored four goals.”
Mamelodi Sundowns will now have close to two weeks to recharge their energy during the international break before returning to action against Cape Town City in a DStv Premiership encounter on 20 November.