If you’ve bothered to go through social media comments at the back of Mamelodi Sundowns’ 5-0 thumping of Summerfield Dynamos this past weekend, you may have noticed that a number of football lovers discredited Masandawana’s win, saying they overpowered an ABC Motsepe League side in the Nedbank Cup quarterfinal.
There is some truth to that as Clinton Larsen’s side were the underdogs by a huge margin. But for Downs coaches, what they cared about was the performance.
One player who set the scene alight is Gaston Sirino, who dazzled in a rare start, providing three assists and walked away with the Man-of-the-Match gong. His coach, Manqoba Mngqithi believes that the sidelining of the Uruguayan has helped him to redirect his focus to Sundowns after he tried – in more than one transfer window – to push for a move to Caf Champions League rivals Al-Ahly.
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“At this stage, a player like Gaston is a new acquisition for us. We are excited as a technical team because when you look at Gaston we are saying this one new additional member in the squad because he has not played a lot, he is still fresh and he can still give us more freshness in the game and help us go forward and when he plays like we get excited,” said Mngqithi.
“The same thing goes for Lebohang Maboe, we have gained another player because he has not been around for the longest time and when he is given an opportunity and he performs, you get excited. The same applies with George Maluleka. We look like a team that has signed three new players towards the end of the season and that is encouraging. All we want is players to represent the club the way we want them to and they are not disappointing in that space and we are very excited,” Mngqithi added.
In the win against Dynamos, Sundowns gave an opportunity to players who have not had much game time and tried different combinations. The technical team was so pleased that Mngqithi hinted that they might field the same team when they take on Golden Arrows in the DStv Premiership on Tuesday afternoon.