Mamelodi Sundowns beat Maritzburg United 5-0 at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Tuesday evening; Thapelo Morena scored once, Haashim Domingo and Cassius Mailula each scored a brace on target for the Tshwane giants as they remained top of the DStv Premiership log standings, while the visitors drop to the bottom of the table. Masandawana came out guns blazing having lost their previous battle in the MTN 8 semi finals second leg round on the weekend, it did not take the defending Champions long to make the breakthrough with a comprehensive victory in a match they dominated for large parts of the evening. The Brazilians Head Coach Rulani Mokwena was cheerful after the successful feat and applauded his players and fellow coaches for the great results:
“Congratulations to the boys for a good performance, good energy, good reflection of the team and good football also. Congratulations to the coaches for working very hard behind the scenes to get the boys mentally better prepared for a very difficult game, it was not an easy side, the score is not always a true reflection of how difficult this game was. Congratulations to the yellow nation, the supporters deserve a better feeling than what we gave them on the weekend.”
“It was very important [to win], all credit needs to go to the players, all of it. All of them from the ones that were in the grandstands, the ones that we left [back] at home, the ones who were on the bench and came on as subs they [played] very good and the ones who started and applied themselves. We’ve got a very honest group of players and when we lose it’s not because we didn’t do enough, we always try our best and once again they demonstrated that. Huge kudos, hats off to them and many, many congratulations to them.”
All the pre-match talk heading into the game focussed on whether The Brazilians had what it takes to restore their excellent performances and showings, with football critics anticipating a sinking ship following the heavy defeat and failure to successfully defend the Wafa Wafa Cup. On Monday, 24 October, the club made a startling announcement regarding the restructuring of the coaching staff at Chloorkop, in a press release statement they stated:
“Rulani Mokwena will take over the responsibility of Head Coach at Mamelodi Sundowns, Steve Komphela will be promoted to become First Team Coach and Manqoba Mngqithi will be the Senior Coach which is the position previously occupied by Steve Komphela. The Goalkeeper Coach, Wendell Robinson will stay in his current position.”
Asked about the changes that are taking place, Coach Rulani expressed his feelings towards his new position as the head coach of the Club: “I feel an enormous sense of gratitude and appreciation for being bestowed with a huge responsibility but also, it’s a collective effort, nothing changes. I’m just as important as everyone else in this club, if not less important and there’s far more important people at Mamelodi Sundowns than myself.”
“I’m just a small piece of the puzzle that tries to give his best for this organization and I will continue to do that. We still have Coach Manqoba [Mngqithi] who is esteemed and a top Coach. Coach Steve [Komphela] is also esteemed, a top coach with a pedigree that speaks for itself and Coach Wendell [Robinson, together with] the rest of our technical team, nothing changes and my importance does not get elevated at all.”
Mamelodi Sundowns will be back in action on Saturday, 22 October when they take on Royal AM in the DStv Premiership at Chatsworth Stadium.