Manqoba Mnqithi, the co-head coach of Mamelodi Sundowns has explained why they decided to give midfielder Andile Jali the captain’s armband for the MTN8 victory over Golden Arrows. The decision was indeed a surprise to all and sundry.
“We needed someone with a soldier mentality, someone who could push and galvanise the team forward and I must he had a very good game,” Mnqithi pointed at the post-match press conference.
Mamelodi Sundowns took a big step towards lifting the MTN8 Cup that has eluded them for the past 14 years by beating Golden Arrows three-nil in Pretoria. Goals by Peter Shalulile, former Arrows player Divine Lunga, and young Neo Maema saw Sundowns keep yet another clean sheet in another dominating performance.
Andile Jali was named Man of the Match for the second match in a row as Sundowns saw off the harpless Arrows. Coach Mnqithi admitted it was not an easy decision to give the armband to Jali.
“We have so many players that have been captains before. We considered Peter, we considered Zwane and Kutumela but in the end, we thought it would be good to give him(Jali) and I thought he deserved that man of the match award tonight,” said Mnqithi.
Even the coach of Golden Arrows admitted he was surprised by the line-up that Sundowns put out for the 2nd leg of the MTN8 semi-final.
“I mean if we plan for them like this and then they come in a different way. If they can put a line-up like that and play the way they did then it means they are a team that is still getting better,” lamented Lehlohonolo Seema after the game.
Jali and the unstoppable team from Chloorkop will return to the league where they will face Swallows FC who still have their head coach, Brandon Trutter on special leave.