Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi was full of praise for Orlando Pirates’ star attacker Monnapule Saleng, who was vital in guiding the Buccaneers to a 3-0 win over the Brazilians to advance to the MTN8 final.
The 24-year-old was at his menacing best against Sundowns on Saturday as he had a hand in all three goals for his side.
First, he beat Aubrey Modiba for pace on the right hand side before crossing for Kermit Erasmus to head home, although there were questions about whether the ball had crossed the goal line or not.
He then helped himself to a brace in the 82nd minute, dispatching a low shot past a hapless Ronwen Williams.
His last goal came via transition as he cut inside Rushine De Reuck before launching a rasping shot in what was a Man of the Match performance on the day, which reserved special praise for the opposition coach after the match.
“I must also say, ever since Saleng started playing their transitions are a little bit more clinical than before, because if you look at this game today, they only had three or four shots at goal and all three are on target,” Mngqithi told journalists after the match.
“Saleng was a big factor in the game today, even from putting a lot of stress on our last line because even from transitions that never yielded anything, he was a constant, consistent threat into our last line and we must give it to them and accept that sometimes who takes his chances is the one who wins the match,” he added.