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Telkom Knockout

Player Ratings: Pirates v Maritzburg

Soccer Laduma rates the individual performances of the players following Orlando Pirates' 2-0 win over Maritzburg United in the Telkom Knockout on Saturday. 
 
Orlando Pirates
 
Siyabonga Mpontshane: 6
 
The goalkeeper got a rare start ahead of Felipe Ovono. Despite keeping a clean sheet, he did not inspire confidence and made one big error which could have led to a goal.
 
Siyabonga Sangweni: 7.5 
 
Sangweni didn't put a foot wrong all game and was as solid as can be in the heart of the Bucs defence. His composure under pressure had a calming influence over his team-mates.
 
Ayanda Gcaba: 6.5 
 
The centre-back did a decent job in defence and had a chance to score in the 22nd minute which he sent wide. He was not as composed as his partner and got away with a couple of risky challenges.
 
Happy Jele: 6.5 
 
The left-back had a relatively quiet game, but didn't make many mistakes and produced a decent performance without standing out.
 
Thabo Matlaba: 6.5
 
Matlaba did what was expected of him without having a big impact on the game.
 
Issa Sarr: 6.5 
 
The defensive midfielder went about his work quietly and distributed the ball relatively well.
 
Yassar Mugerwa: 6
 
One of the new boys in the side, Mugerwa looked a bit nervous early-on but didn't make any big errors. He was replaced in the 76th minute.
 
Mpho Mvelase: 6.5
 
Mvelase was also given a rare chance in the starting XI and struggled a little early in the game, but seemed to settle down later-on.
 
Mpho Makola: 8
 
Makola was one of the stand-out performers for Bucs. He was involved in most of their meaningful attacks and scored the side's second goal in the 47th minute. 
 
Kermit Erasmus: 8 
 
The striker was the hosts' main outlet on attack and looked for work. Erasmus scored the opening goal in the 25th minute with a sensational strike from a tight angle. He was taken off in the 69th minute.
 
Thamsanqa Gabuza: 7
 
The striker had a quiet game on attack but made one significant contribution by assisting in Erasmus's goal with a flick-on header. He did make a mistake in defence but as an attacking player is not expected to be flawless when helping the defenders.
 
Substitutes: 
 
Gift Matupa: 6.5
 
Matupa had a few good touches after coming on for Erasmus in the 69th minute. 
 
Thandani Ntshumayelo: 6.5
 
He replaced Mugerwa in the 76th minute but didn't see much of the ball.
 
Roger Majafa: 6.5
 
Majafa only played for a few minutes, coming on for Makola in the 83rd minute.
 
Maritzburg United 
 
Virgil Vries: 7
 
Despite conceding two goals, the keeper had a good game overall, doing well to save a penalty before Makola scored on the rebound.
 
Thamsanqa Teyise: 5.5 
 
Teyise struggled in this game. He couldn't quite contain Makola and made a big defensive blunder that almost cost the visitors a goal. Sheldon van Wyk replaced him in the 62nd minute.
 
John Paintsil: 5.5
 
The centre-back had a decent first half but his massive mistake in the 47th minute, which saw him handle the ball in the box, lead to the hosts' second goal, which sealed the victory.
 
Kwanda Mngonyama: 7
 
Mngonyama was one of the few United defenders who had a good game. He performed relatively well at the back and made some good runs into the Bucs area, threatening to score on a few occasions.
 
Philani Zulu: 6.5
 
The left-back had a decent game. He didn't make any glaring errors and provided some penetration going forward.
 
Manti Mekoa: 6.5
 
Mekoa had an average game in midfield, not making any big mistakes but failing to really impact the game.
 
Mphakamiseni Nene: 6.5
 
The midfielder made his professional debut and did an commendable job overall.
 
Khumbulani Banda: 6
 
Banda was a little disappointing on the left wing, not really providing United with the pace and industry they needed going forward. He was replaced in the 73rd minute.
 
Ryan De Jongh: 6 
 
Similarly, De Jongh failed to make an impact on the other wing and went unnoticed.
 
Ashley Hartog: 7
 
Hartog showcased some good vision with his passing and created a few chances for Lentjies.
 
Kurt Lentjies: 7.5
 
Lentjies was undoubtedly United's best attacking player. He was in the thick of it and tried his best to get his side on the scoresheet, but he lacked support up front.
 
Substitutes: 
 
Mohammed Anas: 6
 
Anas came on for Banda in the 73rd minute but failed to make a significant impact.
 
Sheldon Van Wyk: 6.5
 
Van Wyk came on for Teyise in the 62nd minute and made a couple of good runs down the right flank.
 

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