Brazilian Lucas Ribeiro Costa scores twice as Mamelodi Sundowns beat Polokwane City

FILE - Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rhulani Mokwena. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

FILE - Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rhulani Mokwena. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 30, 2023


The player who was roundly referred to as Mamelodi Sundowns’ marquee signing of the season is fast living up to his billing and more. Lucas Ribeiro Costa came highly recommended when he joined the multiple South African champions from Belgian side Beveren, and he is showing just why.

Of course there were doubters who felt if the Brazilian was as good as he was being made out to be, he moved to another European league instead of swapping the Jupiler League for the DStv Premiership. But the country’s elite league has previously attracted many a good South Americans, and Sundowns in particular have earned a reputation as a top club thanks to their impressive campaigns on the continent in recent years.

Costa is the latest to trek down south and he has already impressed in the season’s initial stages with some brilliant performances in attack for the defending champions. He was in his element here last night as he scored a brace to help Sundowns take their winning spree to six out of six in this new campaign in which Rulani Mokwnea and his men are looking to see the club chalk up a seventh successive championship triumph.

Costa scored a penalty in the first half and then added a second with a sweet shot from close range to ensure maximum points that sees Sundowns cementing their status as the team to beat once again.

The Brazilians were at their usual best as they controlled the first stanza with consummate ease and always looked threatening whenever they made a foray into the final third of the field. That they went ahead as early as they did was not surprising and was more that they had just the one goal to show for their efforts in the first half that belied their performance.

Costa continued to show just why he was recruited to Chloorkop when he slotted home a penalty after Marcelo Allende hada been hacked inside the box. It was the

The ice broken on this chilly early evening, the group of vociferous Sundowns fans who cajoled their team with songs and the beating of drums became highly expectant, anticipating their team to slaughter the DStv Premiership newcomers.

And it appeared Mokwena’s team would do exactly that as they controlled proceedings, their passing game resembling a swell-oiled machine as they worked their way into the City box without much of an effort.

Themba Zwane and Allende sprayed passes that almost always found the intended recipient, but Neo Maema and Junior Mendieta did not truly take advantage and allowed City to get off the hook.

Costa did well on 23 minutes to find his way around the goalkeeper and delivered a square ball for Maema who was a little too slow to react and got blocked before he could tap in what should have been the second goal.

Costa then scored his second five minutes after the break and there were many other chances galore for Sundowns to could have made this a slaughter of the elite league returnees who never really threatened Ronwen Williams’ goal despite their managing to make some inroads into the visitors’ box.

Such is the depth of talent and quality players available to Mokwena that even when he made changes that sawa the likes of Zwane, Mendietaand Teboho Mokoena exiting the field, Sundowns still looked slick and polished as they forged foward.

They just did not have the requisite finishing sharpness that their overall display deserved. But there could be no denying that in Lucas Ribeiro Costa, Sundowns have signed a gem.


IOL Sport