Sundowns vs Swallows – Key Men
MTNFootball.com looks at the key men as Mamelodi Sundowns and Moroka Swallows clash in their MTN8 semifinal on Saturday night.
The Brazilians in particular are packed
with talent in all departments, making coach Johan Neeskens’ team selection all
the more difficult.
Swallows tend to go with a more tried and trusted formula that has changed little over the past two and a half seasons.
Here are three match-ups that could be key
on the night:
THAMI SANGWENI VS LEFA TSUTSULUPA
The young Sangweni has scored two goals in two games since joining Sundowns from AmaZulu in the close-season. He is more usually a defensive midfielder, who has often filled in at centre-back in the past too. But he has been given a more advanced role with The Brazilians so far, and has relished in the opportunity to push forward. Keeping tabs on him will be Swallows skipper Lefa Tsutsulupa, a veteran of the PSL at the opposite end of his career. He is still an excellent operator though at times can dictate the midfield play. He has experience of winning cups with Swallows before as well, including the 2004 Absa Cup and 2009 Nedbank Cup.
ABEL MABASO VS SIYABONGA NOMVETE
The young Mabaso has burst onto the scene this season having been handed an unfamiliar role in the heart of the Sundowns defence. More usually a midfielder, coach Neeskens believes he has the skills to be a top-class centre-back and so far has performed well. At just 18 he is a young talent though and will come up against a man almost double his age in Nomvete, one of the canniest operators in the PSL. Nomvete already has a goal this season in the MTN8 quarterfinal win over AmaZulu, so is off the mark, and will use all his wiles to get one over Mabaso.
EDWARD MANGQELE VS GREG ETAFIA
Manqele proved last season at Free State Stars that he is a livewire up front and has started the season well with Sundowns too following his much-publicised move. Quick off the mark, he has the ability to ghost in behind defenders and scores some wonderful goals. He looks to be the chief attacking threat among many for Sundowns. Goalkeeper Etafia has won games for Swallows before and you get the feeling he will have to be at his very best in this one. He has experience and Big Match Temperament in abundance, and is the kind of player who can be an inspiration to his teammates.
Look out tomorrow for our feature on the key men in the second semifinal clash between SuperSport United and Orlando Pirates on Sunday.