Downs coach keyed up by team’s return to form

After one of the most comprehensive performances of the season, grabbing a 3-1 win over Santos in Atteridgeville on Sunday, Mamelodi Sundowns’ coach Johan Neeskens was delighted to see his team regaining composure in the race for the Premiership title.

Sundowns picked up only their second win from their last six league matches, climbing back to the top of the table in the final stretch of the season.

“For today it was important that we got the three points, and that we got back on a winning streak again,” Neeskens said after the match.

The Brazilians, equal on 49 points with Orlando Pirates but well ahead on goal difference, went 2-0 up before the break, and showed a hunger for goals by the number of chances they created.

“I think the team played well, especially in the first half,” Neeskens said.

“In the final third, the passes were better than in our other games … We got a little bit of help from Santos with the first goal but then we were the much better team … We scored a beautiful second goal with a terrific cross and a fantastic header.”

Losing control
Neeskens said his side dominated most of the match but then appeared to relax towards the end.

“We controlled the whole first half, and still 15 minutes into the second half, but then when we scored the third goal we didn’t play that well anymore,” he said.

“It was also because maybe the intention to go forward is good, but [when you are] 3-0 up, I think some midfield players play a little bit more back.”

Neeskens believed there was little difference in his side’s performances after two successive defeats, and the only change was his players’ ability to make use of their chances.

“I think we also had the opportunity to win other games but the finishing was not there … Today there were three goals and that is very good and I’m very happy with that.”

Elsewhere on Sunday, Moroka Swallows came from behind to prevail 3-2 over Golden Arrows in Dobsonville, courtesy of a hat-trick by veteran striker Siyabonga Nomvethe.

The victory left the Birds in fourth place on the log, two points behind the pacesetters with three games left.

On Saturday, Free State Stars outclassed Maritzburg United 4-1 in Phuthaditjhaba.

With the win, the Free State side maintained their slim title aspirations as they settled in fifth place, four points behind the leaders.

Platinum Stars produced an upset as they won away from home with a 2-1 victory over AmaZulu in Durban.

Kaizer Chiefs took another knock, going down 2-1 to title contenders SuperSport United at FNB Stadium.

Chiefs were left trailing in sixth position, while SuperSport settled in third place, one point adrift of Pirates and Sundowns.

Wits continued their poor run of form as they were beaten 3-1 by Bloemfontein Celtic at Bidvest Stadium.

Pirates, meanwhile, had dropped points away from home on Friday night in a 1-1 draw against Ajax Cape Town in Cape Town. — Sapa

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Michael Sherman
Michael Sherman works from Knoxville, TN. Associate Professor of Religious Studies (Hebrew Bible and Ancient Judaism; Critical Animal Studies; American Religious History) Michael Sherman has over 157 followers on Twitter.

Stella set to retain her perks

Communication minister will keep Cabinet perks during her two months of special leave

Not a sweet deal, Mister

Mister Sweet workers say they will not risk their health, and the lives of others, to continue producing and packaging confectionaries

Covid-19 grounds Nigeria’s medical tourists

The country’s elites, including the president, travelled abroad for treatment but now they must use the country’s neglected health system

Nehawu launches urgent court bid over protective gear for health...

The health workers’ union says the government has rebuffed its attempts to meet about mitigating risks to workers

Press Releases

Rahima Moosa Hospital nursing college introduces no-touch facial recognition access system

The new system allows the hospital to enrol people’s faces immediately, using artificial intelligence, and integrates easily with existing access control infrastructure, including card readers and biometrics

Everyone’s talking about it. Even Kentucky

Earlier this year South African fried chicken fast-food chain, Chicken Licken®, launched a campaign for their wallet-friendly EasyBucks® meals, based on the idea of ‘Everyone’s talking about it.’

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world