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SuperSport beef up defense with Ivorian Bangaly Soumahoro

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SuperSport United has verified the loan transfer of Ivory Coast defender Bangaly Soumahoro from Tshwane rivals Mamelodi Sundowns, after being hot on the heels following the signing of Sifiso Ngobeni.

The 30-year old has been barely used at Sundowns in the last three-and-a-half seasons, having made only three substitute appearances in the league as he has often been the odd one out when they had to make room in their foreign quota.

The centre-back is anticipated to reignite his career at SuperSport, having appeared only 31times since the start in seven years in the DStv Premiership. SuperSport has young players among, Luke Fleurs, Kegan Johannes and Thatayaone Ditlhokwe, who have been considered the first-choice centre-backs, and looks forward to Soumahoro bringing some experience to the team.

The head coach Kaitano Tembo said, Sifiso Ngobeni was brought in to bring more depth into the team especially in the left-back position, citing that they currently have only Onismor Bhasera, who previously came from the 2021 AFCON held in Cameroon and there was a need to invest in that area.

   SuperSport United line up in a past match/Photo courtesy

All the players are expected to return to Sundowns by the end of the season, with the Brazilians signed midfielder Teboho Mokoena from SuperSport in the January transfer window. Soumahoro Bangaly, born July 18, 1991, is an Ivorian professional footballer who played as a centre back for South African club Mamelodi Sundowns before moving to Supersport United.

After a brief passport issue was resolved, Bangaly signed with Romanian Liga II club Râmnicu Vâlcea as a free agent in early 2012. The 30-year-old centre-back made his Liga II debut on April 25, 2012, playing the full 90 minutes of a 2–2 draw against Argeș Pitești. He made only one more appearance for Râmnicu Vâlcea before returning to his home country and joining ASEC Mimosas. He was selected as the league’s player of the month in May 2015 and was subsequently nominated for the Player of the Year award at the “Ivorian Football Oscars” a few months afterwards.

Bangaly left Ivory Coast once again in September 2015, when he was signed by South African Premier Division club Mamelodi Sundowns to compensate for the loss of Alje Schut, who returned to play in the Netherlands. He made his professional debut with the club on September 15, 2015, during a 2–1 loss to Golden Arrows. The Ivorian centre-back was replaced at halftime by manager Pitso Mosimane after several mistakes, most notably failing to clear a ball which leads to the Golden Arrows’ opening goal.

It was also obvious he experienced communication issues, as he had hardly learned English. He only received nine minutes of playing time the rest of the calendar year, although reports showed he would be settling in and showing improvement in his performances and work rate by December. By April 2016, he had fully integrated and was a regular member of the starting XI following several impressive performances in the CAF Champions League. Bangaly is of Guinean descent through his mother and received a call up to the Guinea national football team in May 2018.

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