Downs teach Thanda a lesson


The goals were scored by Dario Monteiro and Katlego Mphela.

The Sundowns players clearly wanted to impress their new coach, Frenchman Henri Michel, as they started the game at a great pace.

Defender Derrick Spencer could already have scored in the second minute from a corner kick by Lerato Chabangu. However, the former Chiefs defender shot the ball high over the crossbar from inside the box.

It was Monteiro who gave the Brazilians their much-wanted 1-0 lead in the sixth minute, after being delivered a pass by Katlego Mphela from the right.

The Mozambican missed the ball with his first attempt, but, while the Thanda defenders stood watching, he made no mistake with his second opportunity, neatly slotting the ball in past keeper Aubrey Mathibe.

After that, Mphela and Chabangu missed golden opportunities to extend Sundowns’ lead, but both wasted their chances.

But then Mphela put the ball past Mathibe to make it 2-0 in the 16th minute.

The two goals came about as Thanda’s centre-back combination of Japie Motale and Ahmed Mohammed, who seemed to have forgotten what man-marking means, gave way too much space to Sundowns’ striker Mphela and Monteiro – and it could have been worse for the Durban side.

Mphela missed another chance in the 25th minute, as Mathibe made a fine save.

Then the Brazilians seemed to have their third goal in the 28th minute, but Monteiro, the goalscorer, was correctly ruled offside.

Sundowns completely dominated the game and displayed some vibrant soccer with their wide players, Josta Dladla and Chabangu, a joy to watch.

Amabhubesi started their season by gaining six points from their first two League encounters, but since then they have added four points from the next six fixtures.

Still, Thanda improved somewhat in the second half with, above all, substitute Peter Ndlovu, the former Sundowns striker, doing well.

Sundowns seemed to have used most of their energy during the first 45 minutes of play and looked less convincing in the second half. But they were still the better team and could have extended their lead even further if the opportunities that came their way had been better used.

The Brazilians now move into fourth position on the Absa Premiership log with 14 points. That’s the same number of points as number three, SuperSport United, who have a better goal difference.

Amabhubesi are in 11th position.

The 2-0 win was a good start for Sundowns’ new coach Michel. “I am happy with the way we played,” the Frenchman said afterwards, while Thanda coach Roger Palmgren said, “They were better than us.”

Brazilians midfielder Esrom Nyandoro was selected as the Man of the Match.

Report by Backpage