Sundowns Tear Stars Apart

Mamelodi Sundowns will play SuperSport United in another Tshwane Derby in the semi-finals of the Telkom Knockout after the Brazilians tore Free State Stars apart 6-1 at Goble Park in Bethlehem on Sunday.  Ea Lla Koto had no antidote to the attacking play of the capital club as the Pretoria side outclassed their hosts.  Goals from Makgolodi Ngele, Keagan Dolly, an own goal from Daouda Diakité, as well as strikes by Bongani Zungu, Themba Zwane and Katlego Mashego ensured that Pitso Mosimane’s team is set for the final four.

A fairly balanced game at the start turned on its head as ‘Abafana ba Style’ gained control of the midfield and began dominating possession.  Ngele’s 22nd minute strike was a matter of time that the floodgates opened.  The young midfielder pounced on a loose ball which the Stars defence failed to clear to beat goalkeper Daouda Diakité.  Downs kept pouring forward in droves.

Stars, who had not lost a game since German trainer Ernst Middendorp took charge, simply had no answers to the rampaging Masandawana attack.  In one of the forays Burkinabe goalkeeper Diakité was unable to hold onto a Teko Modise strike forcing Diakité to put it into his own net.

Mosimane’s men walked into the dressing room 3-1 up after the in-form Dolly was on the end of a Ngele cross, when he ran past flat-footed defenders to tap home the third.  Sundowns maintained their momentum after the recess.

Modise and Hlompho Kekana’s verve and drive has been the team’s secret weapon to the favourable results this season.  Substitute Themba Zwane got his name onto the scoresheet when he converted when again the Stars defence failed to deal with an aerial ball in the goal area.  Diakité was under the barrage of the Sundowns attack.

He had become as helpless and hapless as Samson was after his locks were shorn off when Zungu’s glancing header flew past him in the 71st from a Modise corner.  Stars managed to make a few incursions but it yielded no results as stalwart defender Thabo Mthethe marshalled his defence so imperiously.  The final nail in the coffin came when Mashego let fly a low grounder to beat the Ea Lla Koto goalkeeper to set up another explosive Tshwane derby.

The Soweto derby will also be on when Orlando Pirates host arch rivals Kaizer Chiefs in the other semi-final.  The games will be played between November 7-8.

Photo credit: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix