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Mamelodi Sundowns are working hard at their set-pieces and it’s showing, says Rhulani Mokwena after another ruthless win

Pavol Safranko of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates goal with teammates in their win over Orlando Pirates. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Pavol Safranko of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates goal with teammates in their win over Orlando Pirates. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Published Dec 18, 2021

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Johannesburg - Mamelodi Sundowns’ co-coach Rulani Mokwena has congratulated senior coach Steve Komphela whose hard work in ensuring the team converts their set-pieces paid off after an emphatic 4-1 win over Orlando Pirates on Friday night.

Known to be a side that enjoys carpet football, patient on build-ups and quick on transitions, Sundowns proved that they are jack of all trades when it comes to tactics at Loftus after scoring three of their four goals in the last half from set-pieces.

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Lyle Lakay was the master taker. First, he whipped in an inviting curling ball that found Peter Shalulile on the far post. The Namibian controlled well to set-up an unmarked Themba Zwane who tapped home his 50th goal for the local champions.

From thereon, Lakay delivered a well executed corner-kick that found Pavol Safranko who headed past a no man’s land standing Siyabonga Mpontshane. Safranko added the third after a pass from Shalulile who later put the final nail in the coffin.

Lakay delivered an identical free-kick as the first one, only for an unmarked Shalulile to easily head home this time around. But deep into stoppage time, Fortune Makaringe pulled one back for Pirates who've lost all five matches to Downs this year.

“Compliments to Mamelodi Sundowns for a very dominant and aggressive performance in both halves. In the first half , we had a couple of difficult moments. But we stayed and fought together,” Mokwena reflected after the game.

“We showed good integrity and honesty to try and protect the team. And congratulations to Steve Komphela. He’s been working very hard with the players on set-pieces. It was good to see that three of the goals were from set-pieces.”

“When we do our tactical work, once we are done, they remain behind and they invest. These are the results of investments. So congratulations to coach Steve, our performance analyst and entire technical team for the work-behind-the scenes.”

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This victory took the Brazilians to 18 points clear at the summit of the table while their unbeaten run extended to 17 matches in the league. Pirates, on the other hand, saw the rollercoaster outing continue as they are third with 24 points.

@MihlaliBaleka

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