Downs’ victory over what are arguably their greatest rivals for the title was a strong assertion of intent when it comes to defending their league crown
The Brazilians edged out the Buccaneers 1-Zero within the first Premier League encounter of 2021, performed on the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The one objective of the sport got here 10 minutes earlier than the interval in Pretoria and was scored by Downs defender Brian Onyango, his first for the membership.
It was not a fairly win for Sundowns, who had been with out a number of of their traditional attacking threats, together with Themba Zwane, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Hlompho Kekana, Reward Motupa, Gaston Sirino and Promise Makhuma, whereas Kermit Erasmus began on the bench as he makes his approach again to full health.
In the long run it took some backs-to-the-wall defending from Sundowns within the closing 20 minutes of the sport, which as Modise factors out, highlights the truth that, though Masandawana are recognized for his or her free-flowing attacking play, additionally they have the instruments to dig in and grind out victories when wanted.
“Mamelodi Sundowns proved immediately that may defend. They did effectively, particularly in a while when the system required them to defend,” Modise stated in his position as a SuperSport TV analyst. “Credit score ought to go to Sundowns, defensively they did effectively.
“I believed they had been very defensive, but in addition as a result of the sport required them to take action, as a result of everyone knows how harmful Pirates are in transition.
“We additionally spoke about how Mamelodi Sundowns may be harmful from set items, particularly with the personnel that was on the pitch immediately, they usually received the objective from a set piece,” Modise, who performed for each golf equipment, added.
Modise’s fellow analyst and former Buccaneer Dikgang Mabalane in the meantime believes that the style of the win was an announcement of intent from the Brazilians and bodes effectively for Masandawana’s hopes of securing a fourth successive league title.
“Not solely did Sundowns win the sport immediately, however they’ve proven the character of the crew, the resilience of the crew,” he stated. “These are the reigning champions, they usually’re nonetheless on the prime of the log.
“It is an intention, you’ll be able to see the prevalence of the crew, when it comes to competing within the league.”