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Downs’ victory over what are arguably his biggest title rivals was a strong statement of intent in terms of defending his league crown.
Former Bafana Bafana midfielder Teko Modise is impressed with Mamelodi Sundowns’ ability to adapt his style to beat the Orlando Pirates.
The Brazilians edged the Buccaneers 1-0 in the first Premier League match of 2021, played at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The only goal of the game came 10 minutes before halftime in Pretoria and was scored by Downs defender Brian Onyango, a first for the club.
It was not a good victory for Sundowns, who did not have several of their usual attack threats, including Themba Zwane, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Hlompho Kekana, Gift Motupa, Gaston Sirino and Promise Makhuma, while Kermit Erasmus started on the bench as he made his way. . get back in top shape.
In the end, it was necessary to defend with his back to the Sundowns wall in the final 20 minutes of the game, which, as Modise points out, highlights the fact that while Masandawana is known for his fluid attacking play, he also has the tools to Dig and get wins when you need to.
“Mamelodi Sundowns showed today that they can defend. They did well, especially later when the system required them to defend,” Modise said in her role as SuperSport TV analyst. “Credit should go to Sundowns, defensively they did well.
“I thought they were very defensive, but also because the game required them to do so, because we all know how dangerous the transitional Pirates are.
“We also talked about how Mamelodi Sundowns can be dangerous from set pieces, especially with the staff who were on the field today, and they got the goal from set pieces,” added Modise, who played for both clubs.
Meanwhile, fellow Modise analyst and former Buccaneer Dikgang Mabalane believes that the shape of the victory was a declaration of intent by the Brazilians and bodes well for Masandawana’s hopes of securing a fourth consecutive league title.
“The Sundowns not only won today’s game, they showed the character of the team, the resilience of the team,” he said. “These are the reigning champions and they are still at the top of the record.
“It is an intention, you can see the superiority of the team, in terms of competing in the league.”