Divine Lunga: Mamelodi Sundowns Boss Rulani Mokwena Lauds Defender’s Performance vs Orlando Pirates

Divine Lunga: Mamelodi Sundowns Boss Rulani Mokwena Lauds Defender’s Performance vs Orlando Pirates

Robert Abong'o
February 19, 2024 at 6:46 AM
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  • Mamelodi Sundowns, head coach, Rulani Mokwena, has been impressed by Divine Lunga
  • The defender made his first start of the season vs Orlando Pirates in the DSTv Premiership
  • Lunga has struggled to secure regular playing time since joining from Golden Arrows in 2021

Mamelodi Sundowns' defender, Divine Lunga, has caught the eye of head coach Rulani Mokwena following his first start of the season.

Lunga, who was previously unable to play due to registration issues related to foreign player quotas, has now obtained the necessary paperwork to compete as a local player.

Since joining Sundowns from Golden Arrows in July 2021, the defender has struggled to secure regular playing time, making just 13 appearances due to stiff competition in the defensive lineup.

Rulani Mokwena and Divine Lunga. Photos: Javier Soriano and Phil Makagoe. Photos: Javier Soriano and Phil Makagoe.
Mamelodi Sundowns, head coach, Rulani Mokwena, was impressed by Divine Lunga's first start. Photos: Javier Soriano and Phil Makagoe.
Source: Getty Images

However, his recent performance in the 1-1 draw against Orlando Pirates at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Saturday, February 17, has sparked optimism that he could carve out a more significant role within the squad.

Speaking about Lunga's display, Mokwena highlighted the defender's solidity and minimal errors despite facing a formidable attacking trio from 10-man Pirates.

"If there’s some form of silver lining in the dark cloud it can be Divine. I think he was good, it’s difficult to play against a front-three that not only has speed and physicality but very little defensive responsibilities,” Mokwena said, as quoted by iDiski Times.

Acknowledging Lunga's need for further development in certain aspects of his game, the Sundowns manager expressed confidence that with more experience, the player will become more adept at executing specific tactical instructions.

The 28-year-old Zimbabwean international has made 127 appearances in the South African top-flight league since he arrived from Chicken Inn FC in July 2018.

Mokwena unhappy with Pirates draw

Mokwena also expressed disappointment following the 1-1 draw against the Buccaneers.

Despite initially leading through Marcelo Allende's goal, Sundowns conceded a penalty that allowed Pirates to equalize quickly, leaving Sundowns with only one point at the final whistle.

The draw maintains their position at the top of the DStv Premiership table, with 39 points earned from 15 games.

In a post-match interview with SuperSport TV, the coach voiced his dissatisfaction with his team's performance and criticized the refereeing decisions made by referee Thando Ndzandzeka.

The Sundowns coach also accepted responsibility for his team's performance, acknowledging his role in the outcome.

Before the game, Mokwena shared his emotional state when facing Orlando Pirates, revealing his deep familial connections to the club.

"Unfortunately, it's one of those games that there's far too much to it, and it's difficult to become less emotional," he told press, as reported by SNL24.

Mokwena evaluates Thembinkosi Lorch’s Debut

Sports Brief reported that Mamelodi Sundowns boss, Rulani Mokwena, weighed in on Thembinkosi Lorch's first appearance against his former club.

Given his past association with the Buccaneers, Lorch's debut for Sundowns was eagerly anticipated.

Despite the pressure, the 30-year-old was named in the starting lineup.

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Robert Abong'o
Editor - Africa Team
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