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Should Onyango be blamed for the red card?: See what Mokwena has to protect Onyango on what reasons

Onyango was criticized for failing to keep a clean sheet against SuperSport United and now he is blamed for getting a red card against Sekhukhune United.

With the sending off he had to concede in the dying minutes of Mamelodi Sundowns' 2-0 victory over Sekhukhune United on Saturday, Denis Onyango did a good thing and kept the Brazilians firmly ensconced at the top of the DStv Premiership.

The procedure by which Onyango was put under pressure at Tuks Stadium, according to Downs co-coach Rulani Mokwena, illustrates how goalkeepers as the last man are not always at fault, even when they commit mistakes. In midweek, Mokwena supported Onyango after the large Ugandan goalkeeper's blunders cost Sundowns a 2-0 lead in a 2-2 draw with SuperSport United.

Onyango had little option except to foul substitute Tshediso Patjie outside the box versus Sekhukhune on Saturday when the attacker ran in alone following intercepting Mosa Lebusa's back-pass. "A lot of people will talk about the red card, however the reality is that there are probably five or six errors leading up to the greater error," Mokwena remarked. "Even against SuperSport, everyone talks about Denis, but I could tell you about Khuliso Mudau's marking and Thabiso Kutumela's foul that he shouldn't have made." And if you don't commit that foul, you won't have a chance to concede the goal.

"Eventually [on Saturday], it's a simple issue where we should advance the ball through the midfield, and there's no explanation why the pass should go back to Grant Kekana, then back to 'AJ' [Andile Jali], and even back to Grant Kekana."

"But when we get to Mosa, who clearly believes the pass should go to Denis at that time since there are two strikers on the field, and one striker is a little hidden on his shoulder, the pass caught him off guard." And you can tell by his body language that he wasn't expecting the pass. But it will come, and he must then engage himself to solving the problem of having an aggressive striker.

"It's all part of the deal when you play for Sundowns." When you play centre-back for Sundowns, you must be able to play under siege and assist the team in not just retaining possession but also progressing closer to the opposition's goal with the ball. And he was unable to do so. Then there was the mistake that put Denis in jeopardy. And, given the compromised scenario, making any other decision [for Onyango] is quite tough.

"However the striker is gone, and it becomes an issue, and though you don't have the red card if you don't get Onyango into that compromise."

"However, this is where we are at Mamelodi Sundowns - we commit errors together and take responsibility for them. We've built that model of play, and we've all agreed that it's how we want to play - we want to build from the back because we're a huge squad. If you don't start from the back, you won't have the 70 percent possession we did, and you won't be able to generate the opportunities we did, resulting in a clean sheet.

"The qualities of a specific model of play allow you the ability to control the issue, generate opportunities, and effectively use the ball." At the same time, you're aware that there's a level of risk engaged when the ball is in or near your final third. Man City and Chelsea are built similarly; bigger clubs have personalities and stick to their profiles."

Sundowns' victory gave them a nine-point lead over Stellenbosch FC, who they will meet at Danie Craven Stadium on Saturday.

Content created and supplied by: Mutwanga (via Opera News )

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