Following Mamelodi Sundowns' narrow victory over Kaizer Chiefs at the weekend, Soccer Laduma takes a look at five key lessons from the game.
Sundowns secured a 1-0 win with a goal from Neo Maema, who brilliantly finished with his weaker foot to give Itumeleng Khune no chance in the Amakhosi goal. With the win, Sundowns are 16 points clear at the top of the standings, while Chiefs have dropped to sixth place.
Soccer Laduma takes a look at five key lessons from the clash at FNB Stadium.
Zwane needs time
Young Samkelo Zwane has made a decent start to his senior team career, but the Amakhosi product still has a lot of work to do to get to a level that will see him dominating the midfield in matches as big as the one they played on Saturday. On Saturday, the 21-year-old had an opportunity to stop Themba Zwane in the build-up to Sundowns' goal, but did not make a tackle and let the experienced campaigner pass the ball to Khuliso Mudau, who made a run on the right flank before feeding off to Peter Shalulile. The Namibian then set up Maema for a brilliant finish.
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Mokoena raising his hand for midfielder of the season?
Teboho Mokoena is becoming such an important figure for Sundowns in the middle of the park and is showing his leadership qualities, with head coach Rulani Mokwena giving him the captain's armband whenever Zwane is not on the pitch. Mokoena is slowly raising his hand for the midfielder of the season award.
Mvala the key man in defence
Mothobi Mvala is making it difficult for Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena to leave him out of the starting line-up. Currently playing in central defence, Mvala has been solid and is growing in confidence in that role at the back. He kept a close eye on Amakhosi striker Bonfils-Caleb Bimenyimana as Sundowns kept another clean sheet.
Dolly is struggling
Dolly has been one of Arthur Zwane's key men in attack this season, but the former Sundowns attacker is struggling for form and confidence in front of goal. His set pieces were not as threatening as before, and he was not lethal when opportunities presented themselves in and around the box. Zwane needs his number 10 to rediscover form as Amakhosi are struggling in front of goal. They are yet to score a goal in 2023 and it does not help that their star player is not on form.
Rulani is getting the best out of Maema
Maema is playing his best football at the moment and is proving why he is so highly rated by Mokwena. The former Bloemfontein Celtic player's game has matured tremendously since making a move to Chloorkop and he is likely to keep getting better in the famous yellow jersey.