JOHANNESBURG - The second half of the 2017/18 Absa Premiership season started on an entertaining note after a short break. The opening round produced 19 goals with a number of absorbing clashes as the fight for places heats up.
Free State Stars continued with their good run under the charismatic Luc Eymael who has transformed Ea Lla Koto from a conservative side to an attacking team that’s just three points behind log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns. Goalkeeper Badra Ali Sangare and centre-back Thamsanqa Teyise will be key. The pair have been solid for Ea Lla Koto which has earned them places in our Team of the Week.
Tshepo Rikhotso, Edmilson Dove and Siyanda Xulu complete the back five, having played starring roles in their clubs’ wins this weekend. Musa Nyatama and the underrated Jabu Maluleke make up the central midfield partnership. Maluleke played a starring role in Polokwane City’s 3-2 win over the Brazilians. The Rise and Shine captain dictated terms with his elegant passes that pierced open Sundowns’ defence. Luvuyo Memela and Linda Mntambo are on the flanks, with Rodney Ramagalela and Victor Letsoalo leading the attack.
Ramagalela continued to haunt his former team by helping Rise and Shine maintain their unbeaten run against Sundowns under coach Bernard Molekwa. Ramagalela was on the scoresheet to take his tally to nine goals this season, while Letsoalo continued to show his progress with a high work rate and an eye for goal.
Team of the Week
Goalkeeper: Badra Ali Sangare (Free State Stars)
Rightback: Tshepo Rikhotso (Bloemfontein Celtic)
Leftback: Edmilson Dove (Cape Town City)
Central defender: Siyanda Xulu (Maritzburg United)
Central defender: Thamsanqa Teyise (Free State Stars)
Rightwinger: Luvuyo Memela (Orlando Pirates)
Leftwinger: Linda Mntambo (Chippa United)
Central midfielder: Musa Nyatama (Orlando Pirates)
Central midfielder: Jabu Maluleke (Polokwane City)
Striker: Rodney Ramagalela (Polokwane City)
Striker: Victor Letsoalo (Bloemfontein Celtic)