Wingers keep Su­perS­port fly­ing

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - MOHAU RAMASHIDJA

MANDLA MASANGO and Thabo Mnya­mane swap roles on the field with such ease, you would swear that they share a tele­pathic un­der­stand­ing with each other.

It’s a trick these two Su­perS­port United wingers have gone through the trou­ble of per­fect­ing in train­ing so that it looks ef­fort­less when­ever they do it in a game.

Like try­ing to solve a Ru­bik’s Cube with your eyes closed, op­pos­ing de­fend­ers also find them­selves ex­tremely con­fused try­ing to in­ter­pret what these two are go­ing to do next with their style of play.

On the left wing, Monya­mane is the cre­ator, al­ways find­ing space to pro­duce those pin­point crosses or surg­ing passes he’s well know for to help his side find the back of the net.

And that’s why he is his team’s as­sist leader with 10 in all com­pe­ti­tions.

On the right, he trans­forms into a goal poacher, al­ways ea­ger to cut in­side with his runs to pro­duce those pow­er­ful, long drives at goal.

And that’s why he’s cur­rently sit­ting on 10 goals, just three be­hind team­mate Jeremy Brockie.

What makes Mnya­mane shine in the fi­nal third is that he plays with a fel­low winger who un­der­stands his game.

Masango also en­joys play­ing on ei­ther side of the pitch, too.

“Mandla and I can swap roles like we do be­cause our (for­mer) coach, Stu­art Bax­ter, has given us the cre­ative free­dom to do whatever we can to help the team (tick) in the fi­nal third,” Mnya­mane said. “It’s some­thing that we work con­sis­tently on in train­ing, hence we never strug­gle to do it when­ever we are fielded to­gether. An­other bonus is that Masango is com­fort­able with play­ing on ei­ther side (of the pitch), too. We never think about when we are go­ing to do it next in game sit­u­a­tions, re­ally. It just hap­pens.”

On Sunday, these two will hope to con­tinue be­ing as ef­fec­tive as they’ve been for their team this past sea­son when they take on TP Mazembe in their third CAF Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup group tie in Lubum­bashi (kick-off 2:30pm).

A win for Mat­sat­santsa in the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo would see them top­ping their mini group ta­ble with seven points, with three games be­fore their Group C fix­tures come to an end.

Mnya­mane said it was cru­cial that they re­turned home with that re­sult lead­ing up to their sec­ond leg tie against the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons, which will take place in At­teridgeville in two weeks time.

“We are not in this com­pe­ti­tion just to add num­bers,” Mnya­mane said.

“We want to go as far as we can. It’s not go­ing to be easy though. Mazembe are the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons and they would want to do ev­ery­thing in their power to make sure that that they don’t con­cede nor lose at home. We’ll have to give it an ex­tra push if we are to re­turn home with a win (against them).”

Mean­while, Plat­inum Stars jet­ted off to Tu­nisia on Wed­nes­day via Dubai for their clash against three-time Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup win­ners, CS Sfax­ien, where they will be hop­ing to get their sec­ond-tier con­ti­nen­tal club com­pe­ti­tion back on track.

As it stands, Dik­wena are bot­tom of their mini group ta­ble with one point, af­ter hav­ing failed to pro­duce a win in their last two group matches. A win in this tie would see the North­west-based out­fit re­turn­ing home with a re­newed hope to con­tinue fight­ing to progress to the knock­out stages, as they would then have just three games be­fore their Group B fix­tures come to an end.

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