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Sundowns on a wing and a prayer
February 10, 2005
Sundowns on a wing and a prayer
Posted on 10 February 2005 - 19:50

Peter Ndlovu Touchline PhotosInjuries and suspensions are all part of the game, but Mamelodi Sundowns have been hit badly on the eve of their crunch away Castle League fixture against in-form Dynamos in Giyani on Saturday.

Peter Ndlovu?s knee has mysteriously swollen to frightening proportions while he was coming to training last week and not only missed last week?s 3-1 triumph over Bloemfontein Celtic, but will be sidelined for this one as well.

Manqoba ?Shakes? Ngwenya, meanwhile, toppled like a log and fell awkwardly during the Celtic clash, and now the diagnosis is that he might have torn muscles under his cultured left foot, ruling him out of action for a couple more weeks.

As if that was not a big enough blow, Paulos Masehe and Surprise Moriri were also withdrawn against Celtic after getting heavy knocks, but early indications are that the duo might recover sufficiently enough or play through the pain barrier if necessary against Pat Malabela?s Dynamites.

Then of course, Rotson Kilambe and Siaka ?Chicco? Tiene are suspended for accumulating three bookings each and if anything, Sundowns is travelling to the Limpopo province on a wing and a prayer.

But Patrice Motsepe?s boys have regained their pride and want to challenge, if not wrestle the Castle League championship from the vice like grip of Orlando Pirates who seems to be running away with the coveted trophy.

Since Angel Cappa took over, there has been an improvement in their total approach to the game. The mentality is different, the attitude, the hunger, determination and even their physical conditioning seems different.

The confidence is back and while in the past, they seemed to be playing for the sake of honouring a fixture, these days, there is direction in their style of play, and there is organisation and discipline as well.

They build ?up from the back, move the ball to the midfielders through the forwards, either down the middle or along the wings where Tiene and Josta Dladla have destroyed nearly every fullback they have come across.

Yet while the defence is becoming stingy, a sign of a solid foundation from where to build, the midfield has also been creative enough to provide opportunities, which the team is not utilising to good effect.

Sundowns are still suffering from their old malaise of dropping down their opponents, but instead of kicking his teeth in; they tend to brush his teeth instead, forgetting that in this game, you knock the stuffing out of your opponents even when he is down and out.

With so many absentees, Tebogo Mokoena and perhaps Antonio Trigo could be recalled to beef up the middle while Paulos Masehe finds himself with the added responsibilities of getting the goals.

Dladla could be pushed upfront to partner Masehe, but the final decision lies with Angel Cappa and his technical team, who are certainly relieved to hear that red-hot Sandile Ndlovu will not play in terms of his loan agreement


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