Mamelodi Sundowns overcame Soweto opponents Swallows FC 2-0 in DStv Premiership action on Tuesday evening. The win saw The Brazilians record the second consecutive win following the FIFA World Cup break and move to 34 points at the top of the table.
After toiling in the first half to break down the stubborn Swallows defence, Masandawana were rewarded for their intent to score and goals came from Neo Maema and Themba Zwane in quick succession in the second half.
Speaking after the game, Head Coach Rulani Mokwena said: “It was an important win against a very difficult team, we expected it to be difficult and it proved to be very difficult – these are the games that win you championships.”
Bafana Ba Style came up against a familiar style of play from their opponents, with Swallows setting up a low block in the defensive half and trying to cut out spaces for Downs to penetrate. Coach Rulani was asked how his team managed to deal with the obstacle and break the deadlock:
“We played a lot faster – before the opponent arrives in the gaps and the spaces, the ball arrives. We found some complications with having a right footer on the left in the first half with Gaston, we also moved Themba Zwane out because he was being man-marked, and that freed up a little bit of space inside. Sometimes these things don’t work but that’s what we did and the players responded very well.”
Mokwena also praised Ronwen Williams and the Sundowns goalkeeping department for the levels they have shown this season. The clean sheet on Tuesday evening meant Williams has now recorded a 7th consecutive clean sheet and a 10th overall in the league:
“[Ronwen] has been very consistent, but they say a good boxer needs a good sparring partner, and he happens to have exceptional goalkeepers around him [Denis Onyango, Kennedy Mweene, Reyaad Pieterse & Jody Feburary] are exceptional, and they are led by a good human being Wendell Robinson – so its not only about ‘Ronza’. Tactically he’s at a very good level and his communication is very important to us.”
The action continues to come thick and fast as the team will now switch their attention to their next game in Kwa-Zulu Natal as they travel to meet Richards Bay FC for the first time this season.