Warrior Devine Lunga gets praise Devine Lunga

Fungai Muderere, [email protected]

WARRIORS leftback Devine Lunga had a breathtaking show in his first appearance as a local player for South Africa’s football giants Mamelodi Sundowns when they took on their arch-rivals Orlando Pirates last weekend.

Lunga, a Mpopoma bred footie star who previously turned out for Ajax Hotspurs and Chicken Inn, was recently registered by Sundowns as a local player after he got his South Africa’s permanent residence permit.

The match ended one all with the Zimbabwe international having a man-of-the-match performance. He played as a leftback.

“If there’s a silver lining in the dark cloud, I think it was Devine Lunga, it was difficult to play against Orlando Pirates front three, I think he was one of two good performers and Devine’s performance, was one of those, stable and zero mistakes,” said Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rhulani Mokwena .

Lunga’s agent Mike Makaab could not hide his joy after seeing the player do well.

Reacting to Lunga’s first appearance, Makaab posted on his official X account and said: “So pleased for Devine Lunga. He’s waited for this opportunity. A top footballer.”

Lunga spent the first half of the season frozen out as the club wanted to register him as a local player in order to avail a foreign slot.

He was linked with an exit during the January transfer-window but this was dismissed by his agent.

“He is now eligible to play as a South African and that will be very interesting because I believe Devine is incredibly talented and offers the club options as a left-sided player.

“He will definitely stay as there are no plans to move him on loan. I am excited because I think he is an outstanding player. A lot of people look at him as a defensive player, but he has got incredible ability going forward,” said Makaab.

Lunga returned to Sundowns from a season-long loan stay at Golden Arrows last term but had not featured for them until Saturday evening.
Mpopoma’s Bango Ground is an unsurfaced pitch and this is where Lunga’s football education started, stopping strikers, dodging defenders and midfielders double his size in the dust with so much aplomb.

Fast forward to June 2019 Afcon finals, deep in the bowels of the 75 000-seater Cairo International Stadium, according to the Egypt versus Zimbabwe match statistics, Lunga managed a 72 percent pass accuracy, with two key passes, four out of seven key passes, and two out of three complete dribbles as he kept Egypt’s cult football hero Mohammed Salah in check for most periods in the match.

While the task of marking Salah would have been a nerve-wrecking experience for many, Lunga was never intimidated.

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