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Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - SPORT -

MAMELODI SUN­DOWNS OR­LANDO PI­RATES

NEVER mind the score­line in this top half of the ta­ble Absa Pre­mier­ship fix­ture be­cause the real ac­tion was be­tween the two dugouts of hosts Mamelodi Sun­downs and their in-form vis­i­tors Or­lando Pi­rates.

In fact, the lack­adaisi­cal show­ing on the pitch was ham­pered by what tran­spired 38 min­utes into this match when a Sun­downs fan, ex­pos­ing the poor se­cu­rity per­son­nel for a game of this mag­ni­tude, man­aged to find his way to the Pi­rates bench and charged at as­sis­tant coach Rhu­lani Mok­wena.

A few mo­ments ear­lier it was the usual hand­bags that you would find at any game be­tween two ri­vals – a bad tackle, no cau­tion from the ref­eree and a war of words from ei­ther side of the tech­ni­cal area.

But a Sun­downs supporter, and Mok­wena, took it a bit far.

Mok­wena had been booed by the very same spec­ta­tors who knew and loved him not so long ago when he was in a sim­i­lar ca­pac­ity at their club, and he re­tal­i­ated by wav­ing them off too to show his frus­tra­tion. The game never re­ally re­cov­ered from that scuf­fle, which lasted about five min­utes be­fore play re­sumed and ref­eree Daniel Ben­nett blew for half-time.

Just when both teams were mak­ing their way to the tun­nel for a bit of breather, to calm the nerves and re­group, there was more drama on the way to the change-room – Sun­downs coach Pitso Mosi­mane de­mand­ing more se­cu­rity in his tech­ni­cal area, Mok­wena leav­ing the dugout nine min­utes be­fore half-time and goal­keeper coach Andrew Sparkes get­ting an ear­ful from Pi­rates official Floyd Mbele.

The sec­ond half was a lot less dra­matic, but the tempo of the match was spoiled by how the first had ended.

Even though there was an at­tempt by the two coaches, Mosi­mane and his coun­ter­part Mi­cho Sre­do­je­vic, to liven things up with some tac­ti­cal changes and the in­tro­duc­tion of play­ers like Phaka­mani Mahlambi and Au­gus­tine Mu­lenga, the game had al­ready long gone down a gear in the first half.

Sun­downs re­mained un­beaten with three games in hand, while Pi­rates were still top of the log prior to Bid­vest Wits play­ing their game later last night.

All the in­ten­sity that was ex­pected from this game was non-ex­is­tent de­spite the hype ahead of this fix­ture and Lof­tus be­ing a sold out venue.

The truth must still be re­vealed: what hap­pened to Rhu­lani Mok­wena at Sun­downs?

Mean­while, Lamontville Golden Ar­rows’ woes at Princess Ma­gogo Sta­dium in KwaMashu con­tin­ued as they suc­cumbed to a 2-1 de­feat at the hands of strug­gling Baroka FC yes­ter­day.

Abafana Bes’thende suf­fered their third loss at home this sea­son. They have col­lected just five points out of the pos­si­ble 18 on their own turf.

Baroka ended Ar­rows’ five-game un­beaten streak in the league, at the same time earn­ing their first win in nine league matches.

The hosts showed in­tent early on, play­ing with zeal, struc­ture and hunger. It took them just four min­utes to test Elvis Chipezeze be­tween the sticks for Baroka but he de­nied both Nkany­iso Cele and Ler­ato Lamola within a space of a minute.

Baroka were forced to make a sub­sti­tu­tion af­ter nine min­utes as an in­jury to Matome Mabebe saw Collins Mak­gakga come on.

The same com­bi­na­tion which al­most broke the deadlock for Ar­rows com­bined for Abafana Bes’thende’s opener. Cele floated in a mag­nif­i­cent curl­ing free-kick to find the head of Lamola who showed great tech­nique to beat Chipezeze.

Then Je­mon­dre Dickens equalised with the eas­i­est of fin­ishes as he tapped the ball into the back of the net fol­low­ing a lovely cross by Good­man Mosele on the right and side.

The clincher for the vis­i­tors came when Baroka caught Abafana Bes’thende off guard and Vusi Sibiya made it 2-1 with a well-timed header, Mduduzi Mdantsane the provider.

Ar­rows did push hard for a equaliser but it wasn’t to be.

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