Mamelodi Sundowns secured their ticket to the Nedbank Cup Last 16 with an impressive 4-0 win over Richards Bay FC at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Friday evening. The Brazilians were making their long-awaited return to football after a 43-day break since their last outing.
New signings Bradley Ralani and Teboho Mokoena both made their first appearances for Bafana Ba Style, with Surprise grabbing a goal on debut. He was joined on the scoresheet by Rushine De Rueck, who grabbed his first for Sundowns as well as the two marksmen upfront Peter Shalulile and Pavol Safranko.
Shalulile’s goal meant he resumed his impressive scoring form in the 2021/22 season as he looks to have another remarkable year in form in front of goal. Speaking after the game the Namibian forward reviewed his performance: “The first game will always be difficult, but with momentum we got into the game, got our touches and our patterns and we finally scored the goals. [With my goal] I just ran into the box late, a cross came in and I had to put it away.”
“I’ll give myself 4/10 for my first game, we still have to improve but with games coming we will definitely get on top but all credit goes to the technical team and the new guys that came in they really played a good game. We went into the changing room and they said we should be patient with the ball, that’s what we did and that’s when all the goals came.”
Striker Pavol Safranko made an appearance off the bench and was quick to get in on the scoring action, before picking up a knock and returning to the bench to receive treatment. Speaking on his feelings after scoring, the striker from Slovakia said:
“I didn’t play that much, but I am happy that we won the game and we’ve started the new year with a win. I’m happy that it shows that during the pre-season we work very hard, we are delighted with the four goals.”
“It was our first game, it was not easy to come in and the team which we played against was not a bad side. We just have to keep improving, have a better first half in the next game. We’ve worked extremely hard during pre-season, the most important thing right now is the results that we got and going into the next round.”
When asked to explain his celebration on the day Pavol said that it was a gift for his partner after they welcomed their daughter into the world: “My wife and I got a gift, we have a small beautiful daughter and this celebration was for her.”