Soccer Laduma’s ‘Team of The Week’ is a feature in each and every Soccer Laduma edition, highlighting the top performers.
Selections are based on the performances of the players in the first round of ABSA Premiership fixtures and the past weekend’s MTN8 quarter-finals.
The Absa Premiership began on 23 August as Bidvest Wits hosted Kaizer Chiefs at the Bidvest Stadium. The home side put early pressure on the Amakhosi as they took the lead in the 34th minute through Elias Pelembe and in the 64th minute, Thulani Hlatshwayo sealed the game for the Clever Boys.
PSL newcomers, Baroka FC were finally introduced to the top flight football. Their opponents, Ajax Cape Town were the first on the scoresheet though as veteran striker, Nathan Paulse poked the ball home in the ninth minute. In the second half, the home side came back and levelled matters in the 50th minute thanks to a goal from Richard Kgolo Matloga.
Cape Town City FC began their season on a positive note when Eric Tinkler’s side hosted Polokwane City at the Cape Town Stadium. The first goal came in the 45th minute through Bhongolwethu Jayiya before Aubrey Ngoma secured a 2-0 victory for the new Cape side in the second-half.
The Chilli Boys displayed their beautiful brand of football as they hosted Free State Stars. The home side took an early lead through a Rhulani Manzini goal, but Stars fought back to level matters as Charles Kampi scored in the 13th minute. However, Manzini completed his brace in the 32nd minute as Chippa secured a 2-1 win.
Last season’s relegation survivors, Maritzburg United, faced off against Bloemfontein Celtic and the Team of Choice scored the decisive goal in the 50th minute through Kurt Lentjies.
SuperSport United suffered their first PSL defeat as Platinum Stars’ Robert Ng’ambi netted in the 62nd minute to give Dikwena a positive start to the season.
Dubbed as the most entertaining game of the first round of PSL clashes, Orlando Pirates hosted Golden Arrows. Tendai Ndoro put on a Man of the Match performance as he netted a hat-trick. Nduduzo Sibiya managed to score for Arrows in the 61st minute, but it was not enough as Pirates bagged the three points.
The quarter-final round of the MTN8 took place this past weekend. On Friday evening, the Cape Town Stadium hosted the encounter between newcomers Cape Town City FC and Kaizer Chiefs. City’s Matthew Sim gave the home side a 1-0 win to knock the Amakhosi out in what was deemed as the shock of the weekend.
The Chilli Boys dominated from the start and took the lead in the eight minute as Rhulani Manzini took advantage of Platinum Stars’ poor defending. Dikwena showed some promise but Chippa’s Menzi Masuku slammed from close range to give the away side a 2-0 victory.
Bidvest Wits saw off Orlando Pirates, despite going behind in the game from a penalty, scored by Oupa Manyisa. Wits levelled matters in the 37th minute through a Buhle Mkhwanazi header before Thulani Hlatshwayo completed the turnaround.
Mamelodi Sundowns hosted SuperSport United at Loftus Versfeld on Sunday afternoon and went ahead through Wayne Arendse. Kingston Nkhatha levelled matters in the 45th minute, but a shot from Hlompho Kekana deflected off Sibusiso Vilakazi to put Downs in the lead. In the 80th minute, a cool finish by Khama Billiat secured a semi-final spot for Sundowns.
Every Monday you will get the chance to post your ‘Team of The Week’. See how close you get to the one which will appear in the new edition of Soccer Laduma on Wednesday.