Melinda Kgadiete proved to be the hero as her second-half goal handed Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies all three points against a resolute Tsunami Queens in Wednesday’s Hollywoodbets Super League clash at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville.
The Brazilians were boosted by the return of several players who recently featured for Banyana Banyana in high-profile friendlies.
Asa Rabalao was handed the starting berth in goal, with Zanele Nhlapho, Karabo Makhurubetshi, Khutso Pila, and Lehlogonolo Mashigo anchoring the backline. Thalea Smidt, Rhoda Mulaudzi, and Chantelle Esau started in midfield while Lelona Daweti, Boitumelo Rabale, and Miche Minnies formed a three-pronged attack.
The reigning champions dominated the possession in the first half and were denied several goal-scoring opportunities.
After the restart, Melinda Kgadiete and Chuene Morifi were called upon to replace Lehlogonolo Mashigo and Chantelle Esau.
That substitution worked wonders with Melinda Kgadiete finishing a fine team move to put Sundowns Ladies ahead. Boitumelo Rabale and Rhoda Mulaudzi came close late on but were unable to add to the scoreline as the defending champions sealed a hard-fought win.
Melinda Kgadiete whose strike proved to be the difference was happy with her goal-scoring return after missing the last few weeks due to international commitments.
“It’s such a great feeling to score on my return to the team. We faced an opponent who was aiming to keep us from finding the back of the net. However, there is a reason why we are the defending champions; we always find a way to win, and we showed that again today. We are not resting on our victories, and we are already looking on to the next one,” the match-winner stated.
Captain Zanele Nhlapho was pleased with the outcome of the fixture, “We expected our opponents to defend deeply, and they did that. They tried to frustrate us on several occasions with their tactics, but we kept our calm, and we got the breakthrough in the second half. This game was another test of our character, and we are happy with the eventual result of the fixture.”
Banyana Ba Style has continued to solidify its presence at the summit of the Hollywoodbets Super League with 64 points accrued courtesy of 21 wins in 24 games. The Brazilians have also scored a massive 93 goals and have conceded just 11 times, the best defense in the league.
On the Sundowns’ scoring chart, Boitumelo Rabale and Miche Minnies are tied on 16 goals apiece. Andisiwe Mgcoyi has 10 strikes while Melinda Kgadiete has now scored 8 times, with Rhoda Mulaudzi on 7 goals.
Up next for Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies is a tricky tie against JVW FC on Sunday, 16 October 2022.