Soccer Laduma selects the six best and four worst performers, following Mamelodi Sundowns’ 1-1 draw against Kaizer Chiefs in the 2018/19 Absa Premiership season opener on Saturday.
Tired of reading? Click through the gallery to see the best and worst performers on the day.
Ricardo Nascimento: 7/10
The Sundowns centre back performed extremely well on the day, especially with his centre-back partner Wayne Arendse struggling. Time and again Nascimento had to cover for his teammates and made some great interceptions or really well-time tackles. He also scored his side’s opening goal with a clinical finish from the penalty spot.
Hlompho Kekana: 7/10
The Sundowns captain was his usual self in midfield and led by example with his high work-rate and no-nonsense tackling. He was the anchor in the team and often broke up the Chiefs attack with his reading of the game. He was also an asset on attack with his pin-point passing that saw his side pushing forward.
Jeremy Brockie: 7/10
The Sundowns attacker was a constant threat in attack. He was good in the air and played the perfect role as the main striker, often holding up play for his teammates and creating space for them. He won the penalty that got his side back into the game and also had a 16-yard volley in the first half that struck the crossbar.
Ramahlwe Mphahlele: 7/10
The Chiefs full-back performed his role almost perfectly. He was solid in defence and got forward down the flank in attack, often providing dangerous balls into the box. He also applied his side’s forward pressing tactic well which saw him win the ball early in the match and score the game’s opening goal.
Willard Katsande: 7/10
The Chiefs defensive midfielder was a rock for his team, providing a great buffer in front of the back four. He worked tirelessly in the midfield to stop the Sundowns attack, and did so with his good reading of the game and his well-timed tackles. He also led by example with his attitude and never-give-up attitude.
Khama Billiat: 7/10
Chiefs’ new signing gave a good account of himself in his attacking midfield role. His skill, pace and trickery saw him cause numerous problems for the Sundowns defence. On more than one occasion he had the beating of his marker and either created space for his teammates with his precise passing or had a shot on goal (which went just wide or were well-saved). He was handed the ‘man of the match’ award.
Wayne Arendse: 5/10
The Sundowns centre-back struggled with the pace of the Chiefs attack, especially with Khama Billiat who he struggled to mark. Arendse often found himself out of position or beaten by the likes of Billiat and Leonardo Castro.
Gaston Sirino: 5/10
The left-sided Sundowns midfielder was not at his best and struggled to deal with the pace of the game. He offered very little in terms of attack and was at fault for his side's first goal after being robbed by Ramahlwe Mphahlele.
Daniel Cardoso: 5/10
The Chiefs central defender struggled with the pace of the Sundowns attack. He was often found out of position and on one occasion this resulted in him fouling Brockie inside the box which saw the referee give a penalty.
Leonardo Castro: 5/10
The Chiefs striker struggled to get into the game and when he did get on the ball he often gave it away cheaply. He was easily disposed of the ball when in possession due to his lack of skill and awareness on the ball. On one occasion Castro even broke through on goal, but with just the keeper to beat he fumbled his shot wide. He was also in danger of getting a red card after being booked early and then committing numerous fouls.