AT a time when all news at Mamelodi Sundowns is all about Khama Billiat, veteran midfielder Esrom Nyandoro quietly returned to the South African Premiership football leaders over the weekend in their 2-1 win over Moroka Swallows.
Zimbabweans Abroad with wellington Toni
Sidelined by injury since the start of the season, the 33-year-old veteran midfield enforcer has been working on his return, but found the going tough breaking into the first eleven as coach Pitso Mosimane was worried about changing a winning team.
But as the saying goes, when the going gets tough, the tough get going, Nyandoro found himself fortifying the Sundowns’ midfield when coming in from the bench for Jabu Shongwe in the 63rd minute in the win.
Nyandoro was heavily involved in delivering Sundowns’ last two league trophies in 2006 and 2007, but has seen a trophy drought hit the Brazilians camp, which also has legendary former Warriors skipper Peter Ndlovu as team manager. Sundowns now have 23 points from 10 matches, two ahead of second-placed Kaizer Chiefs who have played a game more.
Billiat played 73 minutes of the game while fellow Zimbabwean international Cuthbert Malajila lasted 84 minutes, both failing to score. Gilbert Mapemba is on the road to recovery for Swallows and could be back for the Dube Birds in the New Year.
Second-placed Chiefs beat Free State Stars 2-1 and the Free State side promptly showed coach Steve Komphela the exit door.Knowledge Musona started for Amakhosi before he was pulled out for Kingston Nkhatha while Willard Katsande played the entire match. Mathew Rusike was on the bench.
Pretoria University downed AmaZulu 2-0 with Warriors number one Washington Arubi in goal while Obadiah Tarumbwa came in the 87th minute. Carlington Nyadombo featured for AmaZulu while Tapuwa Kapini sat on the bench.
Rodreck Mutuma sat on the bench as Bloemfontein Celtic beat Orlando Pirates 3-2 in a five-goal thriller, leaving the 2013 Champions League finalists rooted in bottom place with just seven points. It has been a tough time for Mutuma at Celtic as he endured countless matches on the bench.
Perhaps, like Simba Sithole, he needs a return home to recharge his batteries.
In Belgium, big striker Nyasha Mushekwi could not find the target as KV Oostende fell 0-2 to Club Brugge while Vusa Nyoni enjoyed 14 minutes of play as bottom-placed Mons edged Lokeren 1-0. Quincy Antipas’ Brondby maintained fourth position despite getting a 3-1 hiding from Copenhagen with the Zimbabwe international featuring as a second half substitute.
Costa Nhamoinesu was yellow-carded in the 52nd minute as Sparta Prague cruised to a routine win over Jablones, edging them out 3-2. This was their 13th win of the season from 16 matches with the club having drawn three and is yet to taste defeat in the Czech Republic top-fight league.