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Mamelodi Sundowns v Côte d'Or

COMMENT: Mosimane has no reason to deny Mamelodi Sundowns' fringe players game time against Cote d'Or

12:09 EAT 26/09/2019
Sundowns, Lucky Mohomi
The Brazilians are home and dry after their rampant performance away to Cote d'Or and several players have to be given a chance on Friday

After thumping Cote d'Or 5-0 in the first leg of the Caf Champions League First Round, Mamelodi Sundowns go into the return leg in Tshwane certain to make it into the group stages of the competition.

And coach Pitso Mosimane has no reason to let some players languish on the bench whom he has continued to overlook in recent months.   

The Kagiso-born mentor has already hinted at giving a few of his fringe players a chance against the team from Seychelles on Friday, including Andile Jali among others. 

While coaches are often reluctant to change their winning team and tamper with the winning formula, this time Mosimane has no choice but to experiment for this encounter.

Sundowns have achieved so much with the likes of Denis Onyango, Hlompho Kekana and Wayne Arendse in the past. 

But this clash is more of a dead rubber as Cote d'Or are unlikely to score six goals without a reply against Sundowns who are considered one of the powerhouses of African football. 

In the first leg in Seychelles, Sundowns appeared to be struggling for rhythm in the first half but they came back stronger in the second 45 minutes - scoring four unanswered goals to put the game beyond Cote d'Or's reach. 

This was after players such as Reyaad Pieterse, Bangaly Soumahoro and Oupa Manyisa were given a chance to start away from home. 

Several players have not been given a fair crack at adding minutes under their belts this season, and for Mosimane to maintain healthy competition among his players, he has to rest his key players and see what others can offer to the club going forward. 

Aubrey Ngoma, Manyisa, Phakamani Mahlambi, Lucky Mohomi, and Sphelele Mkhulise have all not been regulars under Mosimane, and this could be their biggest chance to prove to Mosimane that they deserve to be in the squad this season. 

For Mahlambi though, the situation might be different because he has struggled with injuries, and besides, he has already played two matches this season albeit as a substitute. 

Last season only, Mahlambi played more games than the rest of the abovementioned players - making 29 appearances and scoring six goals. 

Aubrey Ngoma 

The left-footed winger came close to leaving Sundowns earlier this month as Cape Town City attempted to re-sign him.

This was after it became clear that Mosimane didn't believe in him as a player or perhaps the player himself wasn't giving enough to warrant a place in the team's starting line-up. 

However, the proposed move failed to materialise and Sundowns were happy to keep him, but at 30, Ngoma should be playing regularly, and the reason Mosimane brought him to the club was to utilise him. 

Ngoma last played in December 2018 against Baroka, and Mosimane should at least try and give him game time against Cote d'Or because benching a player you were reluctant to let go doesn't paint a pretty picture. 

Already, there are accusations that Sundowns kill the talent of certain players whom they signed as stars at other clubs, and this is Mosiomane's chance to prove those critics wrong.     

Oupa Manyisa 

The Randfontein-born midfielder arrived at Sundowns as one of the highly-rated players from Orlando Pirates. 

But he hasn't been given the respect he deserves since his arrival, and for that reason, Manyisa's career appears to have taken a nosedive. 

He may have featured in the first leg but Manyisa needs more game time - this would help ease the workload from Kekana, who has been the club's stalwart in that midfield for many years without rest. 

For the majority of fans who had hoped for 'Ace' to be a star at Sundowns, seeing him in the stands week in and week out gives them an impression that he no longer has a place at the Tshwane giants.    

Lucky Mohomi 

No league appearance since the 2017/18 season! Mohomi is one of the unfortunate players in the current Sundowns squad. 

The former Free State Stars midfielder could only manage two appearances last season - one in the MTN8 and the other in the Nedbank Cup loss to Chippa United at the start of 2019. 

He was also overtaken by Rivaldo Coetzee who returned from a nasty long-term injury to stake a claim in the team's midfield. 

Mohomi was at the Shell Helix Cup media briefing on Wednesday where he spoke of his desire to get back onto the field of play, and getting a run against Cote d'Or may go a long way.