Former Sundowns star Fabian McCarthy reflects on Phakamani Mahlambi's debut

The ex-Masandawana defender believes his former club deserved to beat Usuthu on Sunday afternoon

Former Mamelodi Sundowns defender Fabian McCarthy says Phakamani Mahlambi is now a matured player after his spell in Egypt with Al Ahly.

The Brazilians' striker made his debut for the reigning Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions on Sunday in their 3-3 draw against AmaZulu where he netted the opening goal.

“Look, obviously playing for a big club like Sundowns you need to make your mark as quickly as possible,” McCarthy told Goal.

“Mahlambi is matured now and he is very strong because the AmaZulu defenders were tight and tough on him, but he manned up against them,” he added.

“Scoring a goal on his debut is a massive boost because he plays for the defending champions and he knows the quality there. He must score regularly, and because he comes from a big club in Egypt it means he knows if you don't deliver, you will not play,” explained the retired defender.

“We will now see how the coach prefers to use him, whether as an out and out striker or as winger to cut through – but he is good because there are some good signs of combination with the likes of Hlompho Kekana and his pace will be difficult to handle,” continued McCarthy.

In addition, McCarthy also shared his views on how Andile Jali combined with Kekana in spreading the ball around in the middle of the park to the likes of Lebohang Maboe and Mahlambi ufpront.

Meanwhile, McCarthy reckons the Brazilians should have won the match at the King Zwelithini Stadium where Mahlambi, Toni Silva and Sibusiso Vilakazi all netted for the visitors.

“I think Mahlambi will get better with time because he received the passes well from Hlompho and Jali,” he continued.

“However, I feel some of the passes were delayed or too strong to pick him up and Maboe, but overall it was a good game and Sundowns should have won it based on the runs and passes they displayed on the day,” he added.

“It was a great game to watch, end-to-end stuff and the supporters really enjoyed it. I would like to see more games played in the township, but there are safety issues to look at, that is why some of the games are taken to Moses Mabhida and so on,” he reacted.

Reflecting on the fact that the Brazilians conceded three goals, the former Bafana Bafana defender said it was just a matter of miscommunication at the back.

“Look, for me I think it was pure miscommunication or misunderstanding at the back or someone did not take his responsibility,” he noted.

“Those poor elements led to soft goals and it was (Reyaad) Pieterse's debut so we can expect better things going forward,” he reflected.

“Credit must also go to AmaZulu for being well alert and taking the chances, we saw (Bonginkosi) Ntuli scoring against his parent club,” said the former Bloemfontein Celtic player.

“But let's also credit Sundowns for showing their quality. The coach made good changes like bringing on (Sibusiso) Vilakazi and he used his experience to score the third one,” said the Vryburg-born legend.

'”I think Sundowns have good combinations and will do better next time, they deserved to win that one and coach Pitso will have headaches because Jali is doing well with Hlompho – (Tiyani) Mabunda will also want to do well – competition is tight there,” concluded McCarthy.

Meanwhile, the Chloorkop-based side will now face Golden Arrows on Wednesday night at the Princess Magogo Stadium at 19:30.