Cassius Mailula was once again the star of the show as Mamelodi Sundowns made it two wins out of two games in the CAFCL group stages.
Mailula bagged a brace and an assist as Downs romped to a 3-1 victory over Coton Sport at the Roumdé Adjia Stadium, with Thapelo Morena scoring the other goal.
The Brazilians took control of the early proceedings in the encounter, enjoying most of the ball, with an average of 67% possession.
But it was Mailula’s awareness, anticipation, and clinical finishing that was the highlight of the match.
The youngster’s brace came from his only two shots of the game, which says a lot about his quality. Even Thapelo Morena, who scored the other goal for Downs through a Mailula assist, scored from his only shot of the game.
Downs had four big chances in the game, Mailula scored from two.
Their ability to take full advantage of the opportunities they create, saw Downs grabbing all three points with three first half goals.
They could have added two more in the second half had Khuliso Mudau and Sphelele Mkhulise managed to take advantage of glorious opportunities presented to them on a silver platter in the 73rd and 82nd minutes.
But to say it was all Sundowns in the game would be a lie, as the home side had their moments in the game, especially on the break.
Coton Sport were swift with their offensive transitions, and one of them paid off as they managed to get a goal in the first half to make the score 2-1 after Downs gave away possession cheaply in midfield, and Wassou made them pay the ultimate price with a clinical finish in the 30th minute.
In the second half, Coton Sport came back strongly as they looked to salvage the game, but Mamelodi Sundowns remained resolute at the back, with Mothobi Mvala and Khuliso Mudau playing a crucial role in denying Coton Sport a way back into the encounter.
To show how threatening the home side were, especially in the second half, they forced Downs into making fifteen clearances in the game, compared to only eight of their own.
They also won eight corners, to Mamelodi Sundowns’s two.
Who were the best performers of the day?
With two goals from two shots, and an assist, the youngster once again showed his quality as a forward, no Shalulile, no problem for Downs.
The right back was on his element for the Brazilians. He was a constant to Coton Sport down the right channel when Downs were on the offensive, completing 44 passes in total, and still managed to do a great job defensively, making three crucial tackles.
Mvala was put on another impressive performance in the centre of the Mamelodi Sundowns defense, making two crucial tackles and continued to justify his selection ahead of the likes of Lebusa and Onyango.
He is usually criticised for his questionable defensive abilities, but Modiba was one of the stand out performers for Downs, adding an assist to his name for Mailula’s second goal.
Tebogo Mokoena and Sphelele Mkhulise also deserve a special mention for their work in midfield.
Mamelodi Sundowns will next face Al Ahly in Egypt in the following weekend.
Tags: Cassius Mailula, Mamelodi Sundowns, Coton Sport.
Key Phrases: Cassius Mailula, Mamelodi Sundowns.
Categories: CAFCL, Africa.