Vilakazi, Makgalwa could fill in for clash with Leopards

Mngqithi feels absence of star strikers won't affect play

Neville Khoza Journalist
Mamelodi Sundowns star Sibusiso Vilakazi is very keen to get back on the pitch. FILE PHOTO
Mamelodi Sundowns star Sibusiso Vilakazi is very keen to get back on the pitch. FILE PHOTO
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi is unfazed by the absence of star players Peter Shalulile and Kermit Erasmus ahead of their DStv Premiership match against struggling Black Leopards at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Sunday (5pm).

Shalulile, who has been outstanding for Sundowns this season, scoring eight goals, picked up his fourth yellow card in their 2-1 victory over Stellenbosch at the weekend.

Fellow striker Erasmus got injured in the same match and has been ruled out for the Leopards game, but Mngqithi is happy that every player at the Brazilians has been scoring goals.

“We are confident. We have players who can always help the team to score and fortunately we’re not just reliant on strikers to score at Sundowns. We had a lot of goals coming from Themba Zwane, Lebohang Maboe, and defenders are even scoring,” Mngqithi said.

“We are hopeful we will survive, but it is sad because I don’t think he [Shalulile] deserves to be suspended.”

The coach feels the yellow card the striker picked up in the match against Stellenbosch was harsh.

“It’s a big loss, and it’s worse when you look at why he is suspended because at times there are these suspensions that we get. I also had one this season but I know I didn’t do anything,” Mngqithi said.

“When I look at Peter’s one, I know he was fouled, and when that happens and you’re suspended ... that’s something else. Maybe it was better that it happened then because I was worried he may get a second yellow that would have taken him out of some important matches coming.

“While he’s a big loss, we’re happy that he’s only missing one match, but he scores in almost every game. We trust in the team we have. For the next match, we have lost him and Kermit, who have always been sharing that space. But we have Mauricio Affonso coming back, along with Sibusiso Vilakazi and Keletso Makgalwa.”

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