AmaTuks were beaten 1-0 by Mamelodi Sundows at a rainy Loftus stadium last week Tuesday and are subsequently out of the Telkom Knockout Cup. Both teams were looking to bounce back after suffering defeats in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) but it was Sundowns who came out on top to win their first game in over two months.
Sundowns dominated from the start and looked the more determined team throughout the game. They put on early pressure and defender Clayton Daniels was close to scoring in the 12th minute from a corner with a wide shot. Teko Modise created the best opportunities for the home team in the first half with two free kicks: the first forced a save from AmaTuks keeper Washington Arubi, while the second hit the crossbar.
Sundowns did not have to wait long in the second half to get the break. A brilliant counter-attack, orchestrated by midfielder Elias Pelembe, opened the scoring in the 48th minute. Pelembe gathered a long ball from deep and beat a few defenders before sliding the ball into the path of Anthony Laffor, who scored easily.
AmaTuks were keen to get back into the game but struggled to dispose of the Sundowns midfield. Aubrey Ngoma went close for AmaTuks in the 55th minute with a low drive that just went past the post. Mame Niang forced the Sundowns keeper into his first real save of the night moments later.
Sundowns were worthy victors in the end. Teko Modise was deservedly named man of the match.
Steve Barker congratulated Sundowns after the game, but warned the Brazilians not to expect the same result when AmaTuks take them on in the PSL in a few weeks’ time. “We went into half-time thinking things [were] going well, but unfortunately a little bit of class by Pelembe created a chance from which they scored the goal. The bigger pitch suited Sundowns’ play, but I think it will be tougher for them when we host them at our stadium in a few weeks’ time.”
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Johan Neeskens was very proud of his team. “My team was the better team on the night [and] we controlled the game. I am very happy. We did extremely well against one of the favourites,” he said.
AmaTuks face Mamelodi Sundowns in the PSL on 10 November at Tuks Stadium at 15:30.
Read Perdeby’s interview with Aubrey Ngoma online.
Photo: Kobus Barnard