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Masango and Mnyamane to keep TP Mazembe guessing

Cup Competitions
JOHANNESBURG – Mandla Masango and Thabo Mnyamane swap roles on the field with such ease, you would swear that they share a telepathic understanding with each other.

It’s a trick these two SuperSport United wingers have gone through the trouble of perfecting in training so that it looks effortless whenever they do it in a game.

Like trying to solve a Rubik's Cube with your eyes closed, opposing defenders also find themselves extremely confused trying to interpret what these two are going to do next with their style of play.

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Mandla Masango celebrates after scoring. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePixThabo Mnyamane looks on during a recent PSL match. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/Backpagepix

On the left wing, Monyamane is the creator, always finding space to produce those pinpoint crosses or surging passes he’s well know for to help his side find the back of the net.

And that’s why he is his team's assist leader with 10 in all competitions.

On the right, he transforms into a goal poacher, always eager to cut inside with his runs to produce those powerful, long drives at goal.

And that’s why he’s currently sitting on 10 goals, just three behind teammate Jeremy Brockie.

What makes Mnyamane shine in the final third is that he plays with a fellow winger who understands his game.

Masango also enjoys playing on either side of the pitch, too.

“Mandla and I can swap roles like we do because our (former) coach, Stuart Baxter, has given us the creative freedom to do whatever we can to help the team (tick) in the final third,” Mnyamane said. 

“It’s something that we work consistently on in training, hence we never struggle to do it whenever we are fielded together. Another bonus is that Masango is comfortable with playing on either side (of the pitch), too. We never think about when we are going to do it next in game situations, really. It just happens.”

On Sunday, these two will hope to continue being as effective as they've been for their team this past season when they take on TP Mazembe in their third CAF Confederation Cup group tie in Lubumbashi (kick-off 2:30pm).

A win for Matsatsantsa in the Democratic Republic of Congo would see them topping their mini group table with seven points, with three games before their Group C fixtures come to an end.

Mnyamane said it was crucial that they returned home with that result leading up to their second leg tie against the defending champions, which will take place in Atteridgeville in two weeks time.

“We are not in this competition just to add numbers,” Mnyamane said.

“We want to go as far as we can. It’s not going to be easy though. Mazembe are the defending champions and they would want to do everything in their power to make sure that that they don’t concede nor lose at home. We’ll have to give it an extra push if we are to return home with a win (against them).”

Meanwhile, Platinum Stars jetted off to Tunisia for their clash against three-time Confederation Cup winners, CS Sfaxien, where they will be hoping to get their second-tier continental club competition back on track.

As it stands, Dikwena are bottom of their mini group table with one point, after having failed to produce a win in their last two group matches. A win in this tie would see the Northwest-based outfit returning home with a renewed hope to continue fighting to progress to the knockout stages, as they would then have just three games before their Group B fixtures come to an end.

@Mohau_Ra

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The Star

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