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Player Ratings: Sundowns v Pirates

Soccer Laduma rates the individual performances of the players during Sundowns' 2-0 win over Pirates in the Absa Premiership on Sunday, 20 December.
 
Sundowns: 
 
Denis Onyango: 6.5
 
The goalkeeper had a solid game. He never looked troubled but made a couple of good saves.
 
Wayne Arendse: 7.0
 
Arendse was composed in the heart of the defence and provided an attacking threat in the air.
 
Tebogo Langerman: 7.0
 
The left-back looked good when performing his defensive duties and played in some excellent cross, while combining with Dolly on the wing.
 
Thabo Nthethe: 6.5 
 
Nthethe stood strong in the 'Downs defence and didn't allow the Bucs strikers many opportunities.
 
Asavela Mbekile: 6.5
 
The right-back was quite active in helping the Sundowns attack with overlapping runs and fulfilled his defensive duties.
 
Keagan Dolly: 7.5
 
Dolly was in good form, creating many openings for the likes of Billiat and Castro. His crosses caused havoc in the Pirates box.
 
Bongani Zungu: 6.0
 
Zungu was reliable in midfield, but a lapse of concentration in the last few minutes almost cost 'Downs a goal.
 
Leonardo Castro: 7.0
 
The striker took his goal in the 16th minute well, and combined brilliantly with Billiat to form a formidable attacking combination.
 
Themba Zwane: 6.0
 
Zwane had a relatively quiet game but didn't make many mistakes. He was replaced in the 50th minute by Teko Modise.
 
Hlompho Kekana: 6.5
 
Kekana's game wasn't flashy, but it was effective. He helped the hosts take control of midfield.
 
Khama Billiat: 8.5
 
Billiat was sensational on the day. He was the driving force for the 'Downs attack. He set up the opening goal with terrific skill in the 16th minute and took his goal in the 64th minute with immense composure.
 
Substitutions: 
 
Teko Modise: 6.0
 
Modise came on in the 50th minute. However, he did not make much of an impact for the hosts.
 
Mzikayise Mashaba: N/A
 
Mashaba came on in the 81st minute for Dolly. He didn't see much of the ball.
 
Siyanda Zwane: 6.0
 
Zwane came on in the 65th minute to replace Castro. He did what was expected of him.
 
Pirates: 
 
Siyabonga Mpontshane: 5.5
 
The Bucs goalkeeper did not look convincing between the sticks. He made a couple of poor decisions.
 
Happy Jele: 6.0
 
The right-back was kept very busy with the likes of Dolly and Billiat running at him. He did a decent job under the circumstances.
 
Thabo Matlaba: 7.0 
 
The left-back was very active and looked full of energy. He got involved as much as possible.
 
Rooi Mahamutsa: 5.0
 
The centre-back had a bit of a nightmare on the day. Billiat haunted him with his pace. Mahamutsa was easily beaten in the 16th minute, allowing Billiat to create the goal.
 
Ayanda Gcaba: 5.5 
 
Gcaba was better than his defensive partner on the day, but he had far from a good game. He also struggled with the movement of the Sundowns attackers.
 
Edwin Gyimah: 5.5 
 
The defensive midfielder would have been expected to give his centre-backs more cover than what he did.
 
Menzi Masuku: 6.5
 
Masuku showed some good touches on the right wing and created a good chance in the 55th minute.
 
Gift Motupa: 7.0
 
Motupa was one of Bucs' better players on the day. He worked hard running box-to-box and put in a determined performance. He made a crucial tackle in the 28th minute to deny the hosts a chance.
 
Thamsanqa Gabuza: 5.5
 
The striker was ineffective and was replaced at half-time by Rakhale.
 
Kermit Erasmus: 6.0
 
Erasmus struggled to get into the game. His midfield was under pressure, which also didn't give him much to work with.
 
Mpho Makola: 6.5
 
Makola worked very hard for his side and did a lot of running off the ball to try and create something, but couldn't find much success.
 
Substitutions: 
 
Thabo Rakhale: 6.0
 
He came on for Gabuza at half-time but also found it hard to make anything happen.
 
Lehlohonolo Majoro: 6.0
 
Majoro was largely absent after coming on in the 62nd minute for Erasmus. He also received little service.
 
Roger Majafa: 6.0
 
Majafa came on for Masuku in the 71st minute. At that stage 'Downs had taken control. He couldn't manage to make an impact.
 

Billiat Praises Sundowns' Hard Work

Tinkler: We Let Ourselves Down

Mosimane: We Are Here To Win

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