Mamelodi Sundowns played to a drawless goal against Swallows FC on Saturday afternoon. The coaching staff took the opportunity to hand some game time to a range of players, giving them the chance to form part of the squad on the day to compete against the Dube Birds.
“We will always use the players that at that point in time we feel are ready to play and the players that we gave a chance today are the players that we believe could do the job today.” said Coach Manqoba Mngqithi.
Goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse featured in the starting lineup for the first time this season and Coach Manqoba was pleased with the display of the man between the sticks: “I was happy with Reyaad, I think he played very well as a goalkeeper, everybody else is somebody that has had some game time during the season but Reyaad is one person that we wanted to see and I think he really gave a good account of himself.”
A steady start to the encounter turned into a physical battle as both team tried to find goalscoring opportunities, Coach Manqoba expressed his disappointment with the results of the fouls in the match: “The officials have got a responsibility to make sure they protect they protect the players and that they run the game properly, but today honestly speaking I don’t think the officiating really served the purpose.”
Abafana BaStyle maintained high possession in this match, however the mood was spoilt by questionable tackles “This is one match that I feel the officials did not do their part because there were many leg breaking injuries that I saw and tackles that were flying all over.”
Despite both teams failing to find the back of the net and Masandawana maintaining their unbeaten away from home record in the Dstv Premiership, Coach Manqoba says the match in Soweto was an excellent display of performance “It was a very good match, first half Swallows had very good build ups, they forced us on to our back foot, but towards the end of the first half we started putting our first foot forward and pushing then and we came back stronger the second half. We forced them to play a lot of long balls from their goalkeeper.”
Mamelodi Sundowns remain top of the log with sixty one points taken from the twenty-eight games in the league. Downs travel to Bloemfontein next to play in the penultimate game of the season against Bloemfontein Celtic.