Downs get mojo back

Mosimane's boys in second spot in standings after 2-0 victory over city

Mamelodi Sundowns' Brazilian defender Ricardo Nascimento (L) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during an Absa Premiership match against Polokwane City at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Tuesday August 7 2018. Sundowns won 2-0 courtesy of goals from Nascimento and Lebohang Maboe.
Mamelodi Sundowns' Brazilian defender Ricardo Nascimento (L) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during an Absa Premiership match against Polokwane City at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Tuesday August 7 2018. Sundowns won 2-0 courtesy of goals from Nascimento and Lebohang Maboe. 
Image: Philip Maeta/Gallo Images

Mamelodi Sundowns moved to second spot on the Absa Premiership standings with four points after a 2-0 win over Polokwane City at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Tuesday night.

The victory for coach Pitso Mosimane was secured through a goal in each half from defender Ricardo Nascimento and attacker Lebohang Maboe as they got their title defence on track after their opening day 1-1 draw with Kaizer Chiefs last weekend.

It was also sweet revenge for Mosimane because City took six points from Sundowns last season, with a 2-1 win at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria and a 3-2 victory in the second round to complete a rare double.

However, this victory came at a price for Sundowns as they lost first-choice goalkeeper Denis Onyango with suspected concussion – he departed the stadium in an ambulance with his neck supported by a brace shortly before halftime.

Onyango collided with City striker Mbulelo Wagaba and landed awkwardly after they went for an aerial ball

He was replaced by Kennedy Mweene, who is likely to be called up again in the MTN8 quarterfinal clash against Golden Arrows on Saturday.

City coach Jozef Vukusic will be worried because they are languishing at the foot of the table with nothing to show for their troubles after losing both their opening matches.

Mosimane made four changes to the team that drew with Chiefs, with Thapelo Morena coming in for Anele Ngcongca and Motjeka Madisha replacing Wayne Arendse in defence.

In the midfield, Tiyani Mabunda replaced captain Hlompho Kekana while Lebohang Maboe, who made his debut as a late substitute against Chiefs, got his first start in the place of Sibusiso Vilakazi in the attacking department.

When they take on Arrows on Saturday, Sundowns will be playing their third competitive match in seven days and there is a possibility of Mosimane making changes, with the likes of Kekana and Vilakazi coming on with fresh legs.

Meanwhile, Kaizer Chiefs’ new coach Giovanni Solinas has a mountain of work to do in papering over the cracks of an ageing, not sufficiently replenished squad by the evidence of Saturday night’s 3-1 Premiership defeat against Bidvest Wits at the FNB Stadium in Soweto.

Deon Hotto’s drive put Wits ahead in the 23rd, with Leonardo Castro equalising in the 33rd.

Wits’ Zimbabwean signing Terrence Dzvukumanja opened his PSL account in the 43rd and Gift Motupa added the third two minutes after the break.

A pitiful crowd of a few thousand was not just a reflection of Chiefs’ struggles, and the scant hope fans seem to have for the coming season. They also had to watch a feeble performance by their team.

X