A brace from Thato Matli was the difference on Saturday as Mamelodi Sundowns reserve team secured a 2-1 victory against AmaZulu FC in the DStv Diski Challenge at Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium. Downs were denied a championship victory by the Durban side earlier in the year when the two sides went head to head in the Diski Challenge final, however this time it was Bafana Ba Style who walked away victorious.
“It was a very difficult game I must say. I think after the last game we played against them in the final they were very confident coming into this game, but I must say, the boys were really ready for this one. We started very well in the game, it was evident when we scored our first goal early in the game from a very beautiful move.” said Masandawana Diski coach Surprise Moriri.
The Brazilians were marvelous in their attack against the visitors, playing transitional football that resulted in their 2-1 win against Usuthu. Coach Surprise says that his team had the opportunity to extend their lead with more goals. “We got an opportunity to get a second goal through a set piece unfortunately we couldn’t convert, then we allowed them to come back into the game by getting an equalizer but the boys never gave up. We pushed again to get the second one, again Thato Matli from a brilliant transition went around the keeper and finished off. Second half was a very open game, they created a few chances but we created many chances we could have sealed the game especially towards the end of the game where they were bringing everybody looking for an equalizer.”
“On transition our decision making could’ve been better, but I must applaud the fighting spirit of the boys, you can see that some of our young ones are really growing especially when you compare them against the big boys of AmaZulu. We are happy to collect the first three points of the season and we are looking forward to the next game.”
Masandawana Ladies claimed bragging rights in the Tshwane Derby on Saturday in a clash against Tshwane University of Technology in the Hollywoodbets Super League encounter played in Pretoria. A thrilling 4-2 encounter solidified the Ladies unbeaten run in their title defence.
“Good football was displayed, we came at them and I never expected them to come at us but they did. We managed to create two goals in the first half and we converted those chances which was good enough for us.” Sundowns Ladies coach Jerry Tshabalala expressed his thoughts on the derby victory.
He added: “In the second half you could tell that fatigue was kicking in, the ladies were a little bit tired. I also have to take the blame, I think the subs that I made were made were very early, which I think it took time for my players, especially those who came on just to adjust to the game, but it’s one of those games, it’s a learning curve and we learn from these kind of games.”
Wrapping up the weekend in emphatic fashion, the men’s first team delivered an outstanding performance on Sunday afternoon against TS Galaxy in their fourth match of the 2021/22 DStv Premiership campaign. Mosa Lebusa and Thabiso Kutumela scored their first league goals alongside Peter Shalulile who added to his goal scoring tally for the new season.
Masandawana dictated the terms on the field with their dominance in ball possession and attack against The Rockets to ensure that their top spot in the league was safely guarded. Speaking at a media press conference after the game, Downs coach Rulani Mokwena said that the team’s goal is to dominate their opponents and strive for excellence in every game played.
“We don’t want to have a team that competes [but rather] we want a team that dominates and that’s what we want, that’s what we showed.”
“We want to have every pass, every build up, every pressing scheme perfect and we work in a way that this is the demand that we put on the team in training. At the same time we also want to be a team that is very difficult to play against, we don’t want anyone that comes and plays Mamelodi Sundowns to think it’s a walk in the park.”