Downs still rule the roost

Amakhosi prove no match for Mosi­mane’s charges as the stylish boys add an­other win to their tally

CityPress - - Sport - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI at Lof­tus Vers­feld ti­mothy@city­press.co.za

Ear­lier this week, Pitso Mosi­mane said the only team that could go pound for pound with his Mamelodi Sun­downs was Or­lando Pi­rates.

He was right. He was not be­ing ar­ro­gant and back to his old ways, as many thought. Mosi­mane’s bold state­ment was jus­ti­fied, as Chiefs were no match for the Brazil­ians.

With the kind of per­for­mance Sun­downs dished up here yes­ter­day, Downs will be un­stop­pable, but only if they are con­sis­tent.

Play­ing with a star for the very first time, Bafana ba Style dom­i­nated the pro­ceed­ings from the be­gin­ning to the end as they toyed with Amakhosi to earn their sec­ond win of the sea­son.

The fi­nal score was not a true re­flec­tion of the game – the home side could have scored even more. They were also de­nied a clear penalty af­ter Percy Tau was brought down in the box, but ref­eree Daniel Ben­nett waved play on.

As for Chiefs, Steve Kom­phela is still try­ing to get his team to­gether. He hasn’t yet made up his mind about his start­ing XI. Once again, he sent in a dif­fer­ent team from the one that played in the game against Free State Stars a fort­night ago. In fact, Chiefs have not won a sin­gle game in three out­ings since they beat Ajax Cape Town last month.

They have dropped seven points af­ter their last three games against Pi­rates, Baroka and the Brazil­ians.

Sun­downs were wor­thy win­ners who showed from the on­set that they wanted a vic­tory. They made it look hard, even though, for them, it was as easy as they come.

Ex­cept for the two goals in the clos­ing stages of the open­ing half, it was not a great game of foot­ball, par­tic­u­larly if you’re a Chiefs fan.

It wasn’t sur­pris­ing that Amakhosi strug­gled to get into the game – they had too many de­fen­sive play­ers on the pitch, which led to some con­fu­sion.

It was clear that Kom­phela’s ploy was first to de­fend and hit Downs on coun­ter­at­tacks. But this was never go­ing to be easy against the ma­raud­ing Brazil­ians, who were of­fen­sive from the word go.

Downs could have been few goals up in the open­ing stanza had it not been for poor de­ci­sion-mak­ing in front of goals, es­pe­cially by An­thony Laf­for, who wasted a few chances.

Then – against the run of play – Chiefs took the lead through an un­likely hero – Ramahlwe Mphahlele – whose in­tended cross ended up in the back of the net.

Not let­ting grass grow un­der their feet, Downs were on the score­sheet a minute later when Tebogo Langer­man beat mas­ter keeper Itume­leng Khune.

They again reached the back of the net in the 53rd minute with Sibu­siso Vilakazi’s goal to put them ahead.

Sun­downs clearly missed the ser­vices of Khama Bil­liat, who failed to re­cover from a groin in­jury in time for the game. His off-the-ball run­ning and pace was the miss­ing link for Downs. But, in the end, they did the job with­out the Zim­bab­wean in­ter­na­tional.

Un­for­tu­nately, the game had to be de­layed for about 15 min­utes to al­low throngs of sup­port­ers to en­ter the venue. That said, it was worth the wait.

PHOTO: TEBOGO LETSIE

LIFT OFF Sun­downs’ Wayne Arendse and Michelle Katsvairo of Kaizer Chiefs chase the ball at Lof­tus Vers­feld yes­ter­day

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