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Orlando Pirates' Ndlondlo savours Man of the Match Award for ‘biggest team in Africa’

20:11 SAST 2022/10/01
Aubrey Modiba Mamelodi Sundowns Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo Marumo Gallants.j
Orlando Pirates midfielder Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo has dedicated his Man of the Match award to his coaches after starring on his debut.
  • Ndlondlo dedicated Man of the Match award to his coaches
  • Former Gallants midfielder starred on his Pirates debut
  • Ndlondlo impressed with incisive passes and link-up play

WHAT HAPPENED? Ndlondlo, who joined Pirates from Marumo Gallants last month, was handed his first start for his new side in Saturday’s MTN8 semi-final first leg clash against Mamelodi Sundowns, which ended goalless. He showed why he is highly-rated with an eye-catching performance that saw him declared the best player of the match.

The 27-year-old carved open the Sundowns defence on a number of occasions, with his link-up play impressing, although the forwards either wasted the opportunities he created or were thwarted by the Masandwana goalkeeper Ronwen Williams.

WHAT DID NDLONDLO SAY? “It was a tough game but we managed to come together as a team and also I need to give back to the technical team for believing in me,” Ndlondlo SuperSport TV as quoted by iDiskiTimes.

“It’s my first time in the team and they gave me a start, so I needed to give back to them. I thank them for this, I think it belongs to them and the team as well, we really fought. It was part of the game that we drew 0-0.

“It was on hell of [a day], it was like a dream to me. Out of the blue, I had to play for the biggest team in the continent. So, I had to continue with the good that I’ve been doing from my previous team and translate it to the team, the biggest team in the country.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Even though he was playing his first match for Pirates, Ndlondlo looked very much at home at Orlando Stadium as he dictated the tempo of the game with his pin-point passes in midfield trying to find the runners.

Blessed with superb technical ability, creativity and a good range of passing, all these were on show as Pirates kept Sundowns at bay in large chunks of the game with Ndlondlo pulling the strings.

Ndlondlo was so good that his passes were met with cheers from the home supporters who will hope that their new No.15 will lift their team like a former wearer of the shirt, Benedict Vilakazi.

WHAT NEXT FOR NDLONDLO? Having put in a man-of-the-match performance, Ndlondlo will likely be among the first names on the team sheet for Tuesday’s PSL clash away to Sekhukhune United when he hopes to make his league debut.

Further league clashes against Richards Bay, AmaZulu and Golden Arrows will follow before the Buccaneers visit Sundowns for the second leg of the MTN8 semi-final on October 22.