Downs’ double mission continues

2012-04-14 19:16

Mamelodi Sundows (1) 2
Maritzburg United (0)

The dream of a double lives on for Mamelodi Sundowns.

The Absa Premiership log leaders are now on a two-pronged mission – the league title and the Nedbank Cup.

It is not surprising that when the Nedbank Cup semifinals draw is conducted tomorrow, Sundowns’ name will be one of the four.

They deserved their win over Maritzburg United, who finished the match a man down after Rheece Evans was ejected following two bookings.

This cup seems to be striker Nyasha Mushekwi’s. The Zimbabwean came off the bench to score his ninth goal of the tournament.

His 75th-minute strike added to the two he scored against Bidvest Wits and six against defenceless Powerlines FC. In fact, the Brazilians have scored a whopping 28 goals so far and are still to concede.

A quick thinking pass from Surprise Moriri in the 38th minute resulted in the ball kissing the back of the net through Lebohang Mokoena.

This after referee Zolile Mthetho had blown for a foul just outside the box and Moriri spotted Mokoena making a run and before United woke up, the ball was at the back of the net.

But Sundowns need to improve on their goal-scoring ability if they are to realise their dream of clinching a double as they should have buried the KwaZulu-Natal club.

With only six points clear of relegation, United should now channel their efforts on league survival.

They will get a chance of avenging yesterday’s loss on Saturday when they meet the Brazilians again in a league match in Port Elizabeth.

On Tuesday, they have another tricky outing against Kaizer Chiefs in Polokwane.

The opening stanza did not provide much action but at least Downs’ supporters kept members of the media awake with their songs throughout the dull 45 minutes as the two clubs sized each other up.

The match seriously needed a goal to spark life into the two teams but even after Mokoena’s goal, United still seemed to be content with defending in their own half.

It’s surprising that head coach Ernst Middendorp opted for a defensive approach as his only attacking player on the field was striker Diyo Sibisi.

The German mentor deployed right-back Peter Petersen as a winger and another defender Wayne Matle in midfield. This was a plot to stop left-back Punch Masenamela from making runs forward and the plan worked successfully.

It wasn’t surprising that they had only one shot at goal in the opening 45 minutes while Sundowns’ attacks were not lethal and didn’t cause problems at the other end.

Sundowns failed to capitalise on United’s mistake in the box when David Booysen needlessly played a back pass to goalkeeper Shuaib Walters, resulting in a free kick inside the box but marksman Katlego Mphela’s effort bounced off the wall.

Minutes later, Mphela hobbled out with a hamstring injury and in came crowd favourite Mushekwi. The man from Zimbabwe did not disappoint.


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