Moloto admits players lacked commitment


Moloto says they had achieved their objective of qualifying for a Top Eight berth and decided to rest a number of their key players ahead of Saturday’s upcoming Nedbank Cup Final.

The Brazilians, who take the tournament’s surprise package, National First Division Mpumalanga Black Aces at the Johannesburg Stadium were without Vuyo Mere, Lerato Chabangu, Surprise Moriri, Brian Baloyi and Robyn Johannes.

“However, I must add that there was complacency in our squad with not much to play for in the final League game of the season. Even the players have admitted that they lacked commitment,” says Moloto.

“But it will be a different story at the weekend because our focus now is on the cup final and I can promise that there will be 100 percent commitment on the field on Saturday.

“Some of our players were nursing some minor injuries and we did not want to risk playing them against Free State Stars,” he added.

Sundowns’ communication manager Mahlatse Mphahlele disclosed that Mere had lost his grandmother recently and that he and Chabangu were given permission to represent the team at the funeral which took place at the weekend.

Ea Lla Koto had former Pretoria University coach Sammy Troughton in charge, in the absence of Kinnah Phiri and started like a house on fire, going 1-0 up already in the second minute thanks to Nkhatha’s goal, after some sloppy defending by the Sundowns defenders.

The Brazilians had 20-year-old Jackson Mabokgwane in goal – he made his PSL debut on Thursday against Platinum Stars – due to a thigh injury to Brian Baloyi.

The Amajita keeper conceded a second goal in the 17th minute when Nkhatha beat the offside trap, before coolly slotting the ball past the young keeper.

Bafana Bafana candidate striker Sibisi scored to make it 3-0 after going one-on-one with Mabokgwane, easily putting the ball into the net in the 31st minute.

Free State Stars continued the second half like they finished the first, in attacking mood. Sundowns missed Surprise Moriri and Lerato Chabangu, who were not included in the squad.

Stars made it 4-0 when centre-back Nkosi headed the ball in after a well-taken corner by Ruben Cloete in the 57th minute. The 26-year-old Nkosi nearly added another goal, also from a corner, but this time the ball did not land in the net thanks to a good save by Mabokgwane.

Sundowns were also resting players as they are still in the CAF Confederations Cup and will be hosting Haras el-Hodood of Egypt in the 4th round of the competition during July.

That’s if Platinum Stars also overcome experienced Tunisian side CS Sfaxien to reach the Group stages.

Free State Stars beat Mamelodi Sundowns 4-0 thanks to goals by Kingston Nkhatha, Diyo Sibisi and Sipho Nkosi.

As a result, Free State finished the Absa Premiership in fifth position, while Sundowns dropped to fourth position, failing to qualify for next year's CAF Confederations Cup.