Dream debut for head coach Mokwena as Mamelodi Sundowns hit five 

by centra
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Rulani Mokwena made a perfect start as Mamelodi Sundowns head coach on Tuesday with a 5-0 triumph at Maritzburg United in the South African Premiership. 

Haashim Domingo and Cassius Mailula scored twice each and man-of-the-match Thapelo Morena once for the defending champions, who led 3-0 at half-time.

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Thapelo Morena (L) scored one goal and created three as Mamelodi Sundowns thrashed Maritzburg United 5-0 in the South African Premiership Phill Magakoe AFP

Leaders Sundowns moved three points clear of Richards Bay while Maritzburg dropped one place to 14th, just one point above the relegation zone, after matchday 12.

“We were aggressive and hungry and took our chances,” said Mokwena, formerly the co-head coach with Manqoba Mngqithi, who has been demoted to a lesser role with the Pretoria outfit.

“It was a great result after what happened at the weekend,” said the new boss, referring to a 3-0 hammering by Orlando Pirates in a knockout competition semi-final.

“But we must stay humble and not get carried away. We go to Royal AM in Durban on Saturday and that will be a big challenge.

“What impressed me most about our performance tonight was the speed of the players, both with and without the ball.”

Maritzburg coach and former Malawi star John Maduka said: “It was a bad, sad night for us. Many of the goals stemmed from our failure to block crosses.” 

The coaching reshuffle at Sundowns was triggered by “poor performances and unconvincing victories”, according to a club statement. 

Three days before being embarrassed by Pirates, Sundowns had battled to overcome bottom club Marumo Gallants 1-0 in the Premiership.

Elsewhere, a four-match winning run by traditional strugglers Chippa United ended when they lost 2-1 away to Cape Town City, who won for the first time in four league games.

Ronaldo Maarman put Gqeberha-based Chippa ahead in the first half only for Khanyiso Mayo to level with his fourth Premiership goal of the season, and Thamsanqa Mkhize netted the winner.

Royal got back on the winning trail after three losses by defeating Golden Arrows 3-1 in a Durban derby.

The outcome was in the balance until one minute from time when Lesotho international Motebang Sera scored Arrows’ third goal with a close-range shot.

© 2022 AFP

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