Downs on warpath
MAMELODI Sundowns took the slogan "Wafa Wafa" to another level as they destroyed Kaizer Chiefs 4-1 here yesterday, killing any hopes the Soweto giants had of clinching an early trophy this season.
It was undoubtedly not the start new Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter had been expecting as he received a baptism of fire in his first official game in charge of the side.
Sundowns' drubbing knocked Amakhosi out of the MTN8 competition and the Pretoria side join Orlando Pirates, SuperSport United and Moroka Swallows as the last four teams remaining.
The draw for the semifinals will be conducted in Johannesburg this morning.
Sundowns coach Johan Neeskens will be pleased with his new recruits and early form shown by his troops ahead of the start of the league which kicks off this week. Downs outplayed Amakhosi throughout the game, with skipper Teko Modise playing an instrumental part in the team's win.
It is not in every game that three debutants find the back of the net in one game. Thamsanqa Sangweni, Tebogo Langerman and Edward Manqele all scored their first goals in their first outing for Sundowns. The Brazilians took the lead early in the game through a sixth minute goal by Sangweni. In the 11th minute Langerman netted in the second goal to give the home side a comfortable early lead.
While eagerly searching for a goal to narrow Sundowns' lead, things were made more difficult for Amakhosi when Lebohang Mokoena took control of an error from Chiefs keeper Itumeleng Khune, who had failed to hold on to an attempt at goal. The keeper's attempted save was diverted to the feet of Mokoena and the midfielder made no mistake, putting the ball past Khune.
The third player to score for Downs was striker Manqele, who scored the side's fourth goal with 10 minutes left in the first half, putting the game beyond Chiefs' reach. Amakhosi midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane scored his side's consolation goal with 15 minutes of play remaining.
The side's woes deepened when Josta Dladla missed a penalty five minutes before time, which would have narrowed down Sundowns' lead with a whopping eight minutes of referee's optional time remaining. Chiefs were often found wanting, failing to cause any threat to Sundowns until the last quarter of an hour where the side showed some urgency, but it was too late to salvage a late comeback.