Angry home crowd turn against Harambee Stars defender Brian Mandela during Sundowns clash

© Mamelodi Sundowns

Angry home crowd turn against Harambee Stars defender Brian Mandela during Sundowns clash

Festus Chuma 10:00 - 24.04.2024

Mamelodi Sundowns' coach Rulani Mokwena has defended Harambee Stars Brian Mandela against fan boos.

Kenyan international Brian 'Niang' Mandela found himself at the center of controversy during Mamelodi Sundowns' latest league match over his performance as the home crowd turned against him. 

Amidst a challenging game, head coach Rulani Mokwena took a stand to defend his player, stressing the importance of support over scrutiny.

Mamelodi Sundowns secured a 2-1 victory against Sekhukhune United, propelling them 13 points clear at the top of the league table. 

Despite making 11 changes to the lineup  Sundowns showed no signs of slowing down racing to a 2-0 lead within the first seven minutes thanks to goals from Tashreeq Matthews and Thapelo Morena.

However, as the game progressed, Mandela struggled to find his rhythm, becoming a focal point for fans' frustrations. 

Boos echoed around the stadium as the defender tried to play out from the back, a moment that saw Mokwena intervene with a plea for positivity from the sidelines.

Speaking on SuperSport TV, Mokwena emphasized the educational aspect of the game.

“Everybody makes mistakes at his job. But it’s mistakes that help you to grow your character, you become a better person when you learn from them," he said.

Mokwena further elaborated on the unique style of play that defines Sundowns, known colloquially as 'shoe, shine and piano' football, which emphasizes skillful, attractive play.

"The Brazilian doesn’t come with me; it does not come with me," Mokwena remarked, referencing the club’s nickname and its flair-filled style of play. 

The gaffer cited historical players who epitomized this approach, insisting that current players need room to express themselves without fear of retribution from the stands.

This culture clash came to a head when Mandela was involved in a foul that led to a penalty which Sekhukhune forward Chibuike Ohizu easily converted for a consolation goal.

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