DOWNS PUNISH BLUNT ARROWS
By: Khanyisani Dlomo
Moneybags Mamelodi Sundowns showed their pedigree as they crushed Golden Arrows and sent them crashing out of the Nedbank Cup in a 5-goal mauling on Saturday.
Sundowns went to the King Zwelithini Stadium looking to maintain their winning streak, while the Arrows side wanted to find relief from their horrid league form by putting together a strong cup run.
The home side looked untouchable in the early minutes of the first half –taking a deserved lead – but was there for the taking in the second as the Brazillians finished the stronger of the two teams on the night.
A well-worked move on the right flank by Siyanda Zwane yield positive results as he found Philani Shange unmarked in the box. Shange made no mistake to beat goalkeeper Wayne Sundilands in the 13th minute. Abafana Besithende had a chance to double their lead, but Chris Katongo’s header went wide.
The Brazillians regrouped themselves and looked threatening towards the end of the stanza. Dove Wome stunned the home crowd into silence as he levelled matters with a wonderful finish after a great pass from Anton Laffor.
Things went from the frying pan into the fire for Mato Madlala’s club as Lebohang Mokoena fired a ferocious shot to give Sundowns a healthy lead in the 58th minute. Laffor opened his account after excellently controlling the ball before volleying home five minute later.
There were chances for Arrows to get back into the game, but Katongo missed an acrobatic effort in the 77th minute.
Substitute Percy Tau – who replaced Mokoena – clinically sealed the game as Sundowns cruised to a 4-1 victory, booking a place in quarterfinals.
Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane was pleased with the pedigree his team demonstrated.
“We got an early wake up call. We managed to reply at the right time. I was so happy because we replied very quickly,” said Mosiamane.
Mosimane also praised Arrows’ character.
“Credit to Arrows. They are a free-flowing team. They don’t park the bus. Their attack is very strong they are very good. I don’t understand why they are on the bottom of the log,” he added.
Arrows caretaker coach Shaun Bartlett was frustrated with the chances his side missed but said the performance maybe be a turning point for the club.
“I am disappointed with the results but they tried their best. I am quite positive the way things are going. The players need to work a bit harder and be more clinical. I said to them we need to go at the high tempo and we did that. But you can’t do that for five minute, you have to do that for 90 minutes. The individual mistakes cost us the results,” said Bartlett.