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Things coming together for Brazilians

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The Brazilians maintained their unbeaten start to the Premiership campaign and they now have a six-point advantage over nearest rivals SuperSport United.

Gaston Sirino of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates goal with teammates during the DStv Premiership 2020/21 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Baroka FC at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria, on February 17. Picture: Samuel Shivambu, BackpagePix

MAMELODI Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi feels that his troops are finally beginning to gel following their 2-0 win over Baroka FC at Loftus on Wednesday.

“We are happy that we are now at a stage where we are (almost) completely injury free. The only players who are injured are Mauricio Affonso and Brian Onyango,” Mngqithi said.

“There is a little bit of consistency in our team selection whereas before we would often change four to five players and even six.

“But I would not say this was one of our better performances. We were in and out in phases. We had some very good phases. We are normally very stingy in defence and had some momentary lapses in concentration which nearly cost us. In the second half, we dominated as Lebohang (Maboe) was wider and Lyle (Lakay) gave us width,” he added.

The result ensured that the Brazilians maintained their unbeaten start to the Premiership campaign and they now have a six-point advantage over nearest rivals SuperSport United.

Mngqithi paid tribute to attacker Gaston Sirino who starred in Wednesday’s game, opening the scoring in the 63rd minute before Peter Shalulile doubled the home team’s lead five minutes later.

The South American was strongly linked with a move to Egyptian giants Al Ahly recently, a move which would have seen him reunite with former Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane.

“We are all very happy with Gaston. We know what he gives to the team. It’s always difficult for a player to concentrate on his game when there are transfer stories. As soon as Sundowns made a clear decision that they would be keeping Gaston, he came back and helped the team.

Make no mistake, he is a good boy. He is not as mad as people think. He knows we believe in him and he knows we have a very good team. Even when he was not playing, we were still winning,” said Mngqithi.

Sundowns will now be the firm favourites to lift another league title. They will next be in action on Tuesday in a tough Caf Champions League away encounter against Algerian club CR Belouizdad.