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Mamelodi Sundowns

5 Talking Points From Downs, Chiefs Matchup

After Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs needed penalties to be separated in their MTN8 clash over the weekend, we look at the major talking points from the four-goal thriller.

Amakhosi came back from two goals down to take the game to extra-time and eventually penalties, where Sundowns goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene - a surprise inclusion in the starting line-up - made four saves and scored one from the spot.

We look at the major talking points from the clash.

Dolly impact

Less than two minutes after coming onto the pitch, new Amakhosi signing Keagan Dolly contributed with an assist, playing through a sublime pass for Khama Billiat to finish and level the score at 2-2. Dolly had come under heavy scrutiny from fans, particularly on social media, for picking up weight after the club posted a picture of him in training before the Carling Black Label clash, but he put that all behind him to make an early impression in the colours of his new club. It could be early signs that the combination of former Sundowns teammates Dolly and Billiat could work. With more games under his belt in the next few weeks, Dolly's confidence will certainly grow and he could play an even bigger role for the Soweto giants. 

Mweene off his line?

The officials on the day have come under fire for the controversy surrounding the penalty shootout. Replays showed that Sundowns goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene was off his life during the times Amakhosi players were taking their spot-kicks, but there was never a call for a retake. Mweene went onto win the man of the match award for making four saves in the shootout, but it left a lot to be discussed when it came to the officiating on the day, with some calling for the introduction of VAR in South African football.

Promising Nange, Alexander partnership?

It may still be early days, but Amakhosi may have found a new midfield pairing in Phathutshedzo Nange and Cole Alexander. Having played together at Bidvest Wits, the two players seemed to have an understanding, though there is still room for improvement going forward.

Baxter’s faith in Khune, Parker

Despite many calls from supporters on social media for the likes of Benard Parker and Itumeleng Khune to make way for younger and new faces in the team, it appears head coach Stuart Baxter values them and could have them featured regularly in his starting line-up. Baxter worked with both Parker and Khune during his first stint with Amakhosi and has hinted in recent press conferences that the experienced goalkeeper will be the number one, with the rest having to fight him for the position between the sticks.

Surprise Downs lineup, signs of change?

While Sundowns did not include new players in their starting line-up, there were some surprise inclusions, as the technical team gave opportunities to players who were not getting too much game-time last season. Khuliso Mudau and Haashim Domingo were given opportunities to prove themselves and they did make a mark and have no doubt raised their hands for more starting berths going forward.

What stood out for you in the match between Sundowns and Chiefs? Have your say in the comments section

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