New coach but same old Sundowns

Wednesday night was former Bafana Bafana coach Trott Moloto’s baptism as the caretaker coach of Mamelodi Sundowns following the premature, much-publicised departure of Gordon Igesund earlier in the week. But it was the same old Sundowns who slumped to a 3-1 Premier Soccer League (PSL) defeat against Moroka Swallows at Loftus.

And the affluent club, who have been PSL champions for the past two seasons, have now lost their last three matches, with no chance of emulating the gifted combination of the 1990s, who scaled the heights of a hat-trick of three successive titles.

And the team who, it might be declared, are misleadingly known as the Brazilians, have been further humiliated by losing a seventh home game and sliding into 12th position on the log—a plight that could make it difficult for them to qualify for the Top Eight competition, let alone harbouring thoughts of a further title.

What added to Sundowns’ woes in front of a mainly deserted stadium was that their latest setback emerged against a Swallows side whose recent form has been more suspect than their own—Swallows have suffered four successive defeats, a more deflating experience than the three by the Brazilians.

Swallows officials, however, did not emulate Sundowns and declared an intention to stick by pressurised coach Ian Gorowa—and it paid off with what was a storybook revival after the Birds found themselves trailing through a snap Brent Carelse goal in only the third minute.

Swallows, however, were not deterred and Zambian international striker James Chamangwa, who is the PSL’s top scorer this season, bamboozled Sundowns goalkeeper Brian Baloyi to equalise in the ninth minute.

The Birds then swooped to a 60th-minute lead after Sundowns defender Shere Lekgothoane brought down Cecil Oerson in the penalty area—and Oerson, returning to soccer after a six-month lay-off through injury, made no mistake from the penalty spot.

And with Sundowns increasingly more desperate and frantic in their efforts to secure an equaliser, it was Swallows instead who sealed the issue in the 90th minute with a trademark Maimane Phiri free-kick that had Baloyi all at sea.—Sapa

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