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Five things we learned from Mamelodi Sundowns’ win over Orlando Pirates

4:13 PM GMT 18/12/2021
Mamelodi Sundowns vs Orlando Pirates, May 2021
The Buccaneers lost to the Brazilians for the second time this season and this time around it was a heavy defeat

Some important pointers were noted after Mamelodi Sundowns overpowered Orlando Pirates on Friday.

  • Themba Zwane Mamelodi Sundowns Coetzee Lorch Orlando Pirates Motshwari

    Pirates' sensational second-half crumble

    Mamelodi Sundowns beat Orlando Pirates 4-1 at Loftus Versfeld to go 18 points clear at the top of the Premier Soccer League standings.

    A brace by Pavol Safranko as well as goals by Themba Zwane and Peter Shalulile carried the evening for Masandawana.

    Fortune Makarunge's stoppage-time goal was too late to save the Buccaneers.

    With the Christmas break looming, it was an important victory for Sundowns who enjoy what looks like a healthy lead.

    Pirates on the other hand risked their third position on the table.

    GOAL takes a look at the lessons drawn from Friday’s encounter.

  • Olisa Ndah, Orlando Pirates, November 2021

    Pirates' defence is weak without Ndah

    In the past weeks, Pirates' coaches were lauded to have found a solution for their problematic defence.

    The central defensive partnership between Ntsikelelo Nyauiza and Olisa Ndah has been steely but they were brutally exposed in the absence of Ndah.

    The Buccaneers became a different team when Ndah was taken off at halftime due to injury.

    After a valiant defensive effort in the first half, they spectacularly collapsed in the second stanza without Ndah, conceding four goals.

    The lanky Nigerian’s aerial presence was missed as Masandawana won every duel in the air.

    Three of Sundowns goals were ariels battles which Pirates failed to defend.

  • Kwame Peprah, Orlando Pirates, September 2021

    Time to drop Peprah

    The Ghanian arrived at Pirates amid a crisis upfront where their highest scorer last season, Vincent Pule, managed just six goals.

    But Kwame Peprah is yet to justify his signing from King Faisal Babes, firing blanks in all the matches he has played.

    Peprah has not even made an assist in the 12 games, including eight starts, he has taken part in and that is an unconvincing record for a striker.

    Maybe bringing back Tshegofatso Mabasa could better things upfront for Pirates. Mabasa has shown the potential that if given a full chance, he could do better for the Soweto giants.

    Going into the market and signing a tried and tested striker in the January transfer window would be the best for Pirates.

  • Mandla Ncikazi & Fadlu Davids, Orlando Pirates

    Pirates job is too big for the coaches

    Looking at Pirates co-coaches Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids, they never achieved anything big before joining the Soweto giants.

    For a club of Pirates’ stature, a coach with a proven record could have been ideal.

    Ncikazi and Davids were tactically exposed against Sundowns especially by finding no solution at the back which was the source of their crumble.

    The duo lacks big-match temperament and has twice lost to Sundowns this season as well as the Soweto Derby clash against Kaizer Chiefs.

    Winning five games, drawing nine and losing three is not a pleasing record for a club like Pirates.

  • Peter Shalulile, Mamelodi Sundowns, December 2021

    Unstoppable Shalulile could break Mbesuma's record

    The Namibian cannot stop scoring.

    He has been consistent in the past three seasons, scoring 15 league goals last term and 16 the previous one.

    Having scored 13 goals in 17 league games so far this season, Shalulile appears to be on the way to breaking Collins Mbesuma’s record of 25 goals which he attained during the 2004/05 campaign.

    Shalulile has proven to be reliable both in the air and on the ground, scoring from all angles.

  • Themba Zwane, Mamelodi Sundowns, October 2021

    Zwane starting to hit form at the right time

    He scored his 50th goal for Sundowns to join an elite group including Surprise Moriri and Daniel Mudau at the club.

    After a dry period where his contribution was minimal, Zwane has improved in the last three games which have come with two goals and an assist.

    That is what Sundowns need as they seek to wrap up their season early.