Selecting the Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates Combined Team of the Weekend

Selecting the Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates Combined Team of the Weekend

Jarryd Westerdale
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
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ZA Premier League
South Africa
  • Mamelodi Sundowns beat Wydad Casablanca over two legs to win the inaugural AFL
  • Orlando Pirates won a fiery Soweto Derby thanks to a goal from Evidence Makgopa
  • Debate has been had over whether the Soweto Derby or 'African Derby' were superior

A team is the sum of its parts but which individuals set the pitch alight?

After a big weekend for South African football, Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates stand as kings of their respective hills.

Rulani Mokwena has achieved continental glory for the first time while Orlando Pirates go back to Soweto as victors.

Sundowns, Pirates, Combined XI, AFL, Soweto Derby.
Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates were victorious but which players would make a combined team of the weekend? Photos: MpNkophe, @Thapz__ and @riswase.
Source: Twitter

Based on their performances in their respective victories, which of the stars would be in contention for the team of the weekend?

In goals, both 'keepers kept a clean sheet which allowed the forwards to get the job done. Melusi Buthelezi made a fingertip save to push Edson Castillo's header onto the post, while Ronwen Williams only had to deal with long-range efforts.

Based solely on their 90 minutes this weekend, this decision may be a draw, leaving the tie-breaker to be Williams' penalty save in the first leg.

At right-back, Khuliso Mudau should have the better of Pirates' Bandile Shandu but the latter's cushioned assist was vital in setting up Evidence Makgopa's tap-in.

With both backlines going unbreached, it would be fair to share the honours with the centre-back pairing. Mothibi Mvala was a colossus against Wydad and Olisa Ndah excorsied his derby demons.

Abdelmounaim Boutouil was involved in the only shaky moment for Sundowns, while Deon Hotto ran Kaizer Chiefs ragged down the left flank.

Miguel Timm and Teboho Mokwena were metronomic pivots for their teams, spraying passes, battling to win possession back and disrupting their opponents.

Sundowns' victory was built on solid defence and a structured press that forced the errors that led to goals. Meanwhile, Pirates' forwards were creative from all angles.

In front of the mid-field pivots would be teenager Relebohile Mofokeng. Thrust onto the big stage after an injury to Kermit Erasmus, Mofokeng had a fine afternoon of expressive attacking football.

Sundowns wide men were industrious but never had total control of their opposition the way Patrick Maswanganyi and Thembinkosi Lorch unleashed the flair on Kaizer Chiefs.

Both Evidence Makgopa and Peter Shalulile showed their predatory instincts to stick home their important goals, but Shalulile showed an inch more anticipation and hunger for his well-taken poach.

In summary:

  • GK: Ronwen Williams
  • RB: Bandile Shandu
  • CB: Mothibi Mvala
  • CB: Olisa Ndah
  • LB: Deon Hotto
  • CM: Teboho Mokwena
  • CM: Miguel Timm
  • AM/False Nine: Relebohile Mofokeng
  • LAM: Thembinkosi Lorch
  • RAM: Patrick Maswanganyi
  • CF: Peter Shalulile

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Sundowns Kings of Africa

Sports Brief recently reported on Mamelodi Sundowns winning the African Football League.

Sundowns capitalised on two errors by Wydad Casablanca to win the second leg 2-0.

The victory avenged their defeat at the hands of Wydad in last season's Champions League.

Jarryd Westerdale photo
Jarryd Westerdale
Jarryd Westerdale (based in Johannesburg) joined Sports Brief after four years in the community journalism sphere. He is a two-time Alet Roux Award winner and was a finalist in multiple categories at the Forum of Community Journalism Excellence Awards.
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