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Future captain contenders, Madisha and Lebusa key in TKO Final

Motjeka Madisha and Mosa Lebusa are Mamelodi Sundowns’ key players when they take on Maritzburg United on Saturday in the Telkom Knockout Final.

Anyone who watched Maritzburg’s dismantling of Kaizer Chiefs in the semi-final will have seen how dangerous Eric Tinkler’s side can be on the counter attack, particularly when Judas Moseamedi is at his best up front.

Madisha and Lebusa central to Down TKO ambitions

In a game where Sundowns are almost certain to dominate possession and focus on breaking down the PSL’s best defence, they will have to ensure their own “rest defence” is able to deal with any transitions. Key to that task will be Motjeka Madisha and Mosa Lebusa, who have both had outstanding campaigns up to this point.

mamelodi sundowns - Future captain contenders, Madisha and Lebusa key in TKO Final
Mosa Lebusa celebrates goal with Lebohang Maboe of Mamelodi Sundowns during the 2019 PSL season. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

When Ricardo Nascimento, arguably the league’s best defender last season, had to have groin surgery in the off-season, it opened the door for Madisha to play more often. He started just five league games last season as Pitso Mosimane used eight different pairings at centre back. Despite his lack of games – with injuries partly to blame – Madisha helped Downs keep four clean sheets in those five outings.

Lebusa, meanwhile, enjoyed a very strong first season at Chloorkop, playing so well that Nascimento was shifted across to right centre back despite the Brazilian being left footed. The duo performed well but never looked 100% comfortable together. Madisha and Lebusa complement each other perfectly.

Both players are quick across the ground and are comfortable defending the space in the wide areas thanks to their experience of playing at fullback. The duo are both good characters and leadership figures within the squad; Madisha has captained Amajita, the South Africa under 20 national team, whilst Lebusa was captain of Ajax Cape Town.

Kekana winding down

When Hlompho Kekana was taken off at half-time in the semi-final victory against Golden Arrows, Lebusa wore the armband in the second period. Although Anele Ngcongca led the side in a subsequent match, Lebusa appears a captain in waiting, whilst homegrown academy product, Madisha could also be someone Mosimane looks to in coming years. Kekana will be 35 years old by the time next season starts and can’t start every week for much longer.

14bb5546 judas moseamedi 2048x1198 - Future captain contenders, Madisha and Lebusa key in TKO Final
NELSPRUIT, SOUTH AFRICA – NOVEMBER 24: Judas Moseamedi of Maritzburg United during the Telkom Knockout 2019 Semi Final match between Kaizer Chiefs and Maritzburg United at Mbombela Stadium on November 24, 2019 in Nelspruit, South Africa. (Photo by Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images)

On Saturday, Moseamedi could be a huge handful. A rare mix of physical and aerial strength, combined with pace, makes him a fearsome opponent when he is in the mood. Unfortunately, he turns it on too rarely and has struggled with his ability to last 90 minutes in matches. If he on top form, then Lebusa and Madisha will need to shackle him whilst keeping an eye on any holes that appear for Tinkler’s men on the break. It won’t be an easy task but they look completely ready for the challenge.

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