Key men: City v Sundowns
Posted: 25 August 2018 Time: 08:45
KickOff.com looks at the men who will play a key role in the MTN8 first leg semi final between Cape Town City and Mamelodi Sundowns.
CAPE TOWN CITY
- Craig Martin
Blessed with unbelievable pace, Martin will be a nightmare for the Sundowns defenders. Since making a move up to the PSL from the National First Division last season, the winger has made a lot of progress and is destined for great things in the top flight. Whoever plays at left back at Sundowns will have to make sure they have all the energy in the world to keep up with Martin.
- Thabo Nodada
The man nicknamed “Kante” hardly ever runs out of energy. He covers a lot of ground on the pitch and gives his all whenever he is on the pitch, which is why McCarthy never leaves him out of the starting line. Nodada will have a tough afternoon against the likes of Hlompho Kekana and Andile Jali in the Downs midfield. If City can dominate in midfield with Nodada, then they will have a good chance of winning the tie.
- Thamsanqa Mkhize
The skipper has established himself as one of the best right backs in the country and it would not come as a surprise if he is included in Stuart Baxter’s Bafana Bafana squad when the coach names his side next week. Mkhize defends very well and has speed to keep up with some of the league’s fast wingers. He is good going forward too, and has an ability to whip in good crosses.
- Themba Zwane
“Mshishi” is fast becoming Sundowns’ most important player, as was the case previously with Khama Billiat and Percy Tau. Zwane, who recently admitted that there are parts of his game he wants to improve on, has grown as a player and Sundowns need him to be on top of his game if they are to have a shot at breaking down the usually stubborn Citizens’ defence.
- Hlompho Kekana
The last time Sundowns played City in a cup competition in the Mother City Kekana was on top form, scoring a goal from outside the box. The skipper, as usual, has been a key figure for the defending league champions and will have to dominate the midfield battle to inspire Downs to victory.
Fresh from a clean sheet in the Absa Premiership match against Highlands Park, Onyango will no doubt come up against tougher opposition this afternoon compared to Wednesday. Sundowns, though, can be confident they have someone who can keep out the City attackers. Onyango communicates well with his defenders and commands his area well, which is exactly what Sundowns need when they come up against forwards who are strong physically, such as Siphelele Mthembu and Matthew Rusike.