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Mokwena reveals how Mamelodi Sundowns coped with SuperSport United’s tactical setup

7:16 am AEDT 17/1/23
Rhulani Mokwena Mamelodi Sundowns.
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rhulani Mokwena has explained how his side contained SuperSport United’s threats in Monday’s PSL match.
  • Mokwena explained the tactical decisions that won the game
  • Sundowns coach was keen to keep SuperSport wingers at bay
  • Masandawana claimed the Tshwane derby bragging rights

WHAT HAPPENED? Sundowns beat SuperSport 1-0 to extend their winning run to 11 straight games when Neo Maema slotted in three minutes to halftime.

Maema got on the end of Cassius Maulila’s cut-back and scored past George Chigova after the SuperSport backline failed to defend well when on the backfoot and the Brazilians held on to claim the bragging rights in the Tshwane derby.

It was, however, not a straight forward win for Masandawana who had to deal with a number of threats from Gavin Hunt’s men who had chances of their own with Thapelo Maseko and Iqraam Rayners getting close.

Hunt had set his team up in a 4-4-2 formation with Maseko and Gamphani Lungu playing as inverted wingers with the intention of cutting inside onto their stronger feet and Mokwena explained how he instructed his defenders to play to avoid getting caught up.

WHAT DID HE SAY? “The only difference is that [Thapelo] Maseko played with the left foot on the right and normally Gavin [Hunt] likes to have the full-back and winger to deliver balls into the box,” Mokwena told SuperSport TV after the match.

“So, [Gamphani] Lungu was on the left with the right foot and Maseko on the opposite side. So, they played a little more inverted.”

“Zeida’s [Aubrey Modiba] position was for a winger to go on the outside and deliver the cross and not for him to come inside and put the ball inside so we had to adjust and the centre backs needed to be five or 10 metres a little bit higher so that they could provoke the press.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Victory sees Sundowns open up a 14-point lead at the top of the table ahead of second-placed Richards Bay, and 16 adrift of SuperSport, although they have played a game more.

Masandawana also avoided losing twice in the same season to Matsatsansa who were the last team to hand them a loss before they started their current winning run.

WHAT’S NEXT? Sundowns face struggling Kaizer Chiefs in their next PSL clash on Saturday.