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'Opposition teams' fixation with Moriri is bringing out the best in Sundowns'

By unknown | Jan 22, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Gordon Igesund believes that Premiership teams who plan around individual players in his team will have only themselves to blame if they get punished.

Speaking after the defending champions 3-0 trounced of Lamontville Golden Arrows in a Castle Premiership clash at Super Stadium on Saturday, Igesund paid tribute to the team spirit he insists was at the root of their performance on the night.

It seems two-goal hero Surprise Moriri is often at the forefront of most opposition team plans, as evidenced by the close attention defenders pay him, and the number of fouls committed against him.

He is probably one of the most fouled players in the Premier Soccer League at the moment, yet he continues to create and score goals. The Brazilians' mentor said the situation has served to bring the most out of other players in the camp.

"The guys were great. I thought all of them were great. They covered well for each other, absorbed the torrent of attacks launched by Arrows in the first 21 minutes and, most importantly, kept their shape under a lot of pressure," he said.

Moriri's first goal came in the 21st minute, much against the run of play, as Downs had been under relentless pressure from Arrows. His next goal came in the 41st minute, and Josta Dladla put matters beyond doubt with a scorcher in the 48th minute.

Arrows could have punished the hosts several times before Moriri's opener, but the Sundowns defence, Benson Mhlongo in particular, stood firm, never allowing Norman Smith and Vusumuzi Vilakazi to capitalize on neat passes from Abafana Bes'thende's midfield.

Moriri says he simply plays his own game, and doesn't worry about the attention paid to him by the opposition.

"I have had to adapt my game to deal with the situation, and I stick to the game plan and release the ball sooner," he said.

Arrows' acting coach Manqoba Mnqithi could only bemoan the scoring opportunities that were wasted in the first 20 minutes.

"It is the same old story. We create lots of scoring opportunities, only to falter at the end and leave empty-handed," Mnqithi said.

Igesund, who was booed by supporters after their 2-1 loss to Ajax Cape Town last month, was cheered by the same supporters.


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