Downs Claim Tshwane Dominance20/Aug/2017 09:33
Mamelodi Sundowns dominated a hapless Supersport United, putting on a classic display of passing football to beat their cross town rivals 2-0 in their season opening Absa Premier League fixture at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.
The cold weather which swept through Gauteng did not dampen the spirit of the fans who braved it. They were not disappointed, as the Tshwane derby once more showed that if you are looking for an exciting derby with great goals, look no further than north of the Jukskei River.
The fans left happy as the Brazilians broke the streak of draws and defeats at this venue and finally stamped their authority in a game which they could have won by a bigger margin had they taken all the chances that fell for them.
The Yellow Machine picked holes in the Supersport defence, but needed a bit of edge in the box as Supersport defended desperately .
The African champions made their intentions clear when they surged into early attacks. New signings George Lebese and Oupa Manyisa fitted well into the Brazilians machine, but it was the display of Themba Zwane who returned to his favorite attacking role which caught the eye.
Zwane put in a man of the match performance, and also scored the second goal which put the game beyond the reach of Supersport.
Both Thapelo Morena and Tebogo Langerman used their wing attacks to open up the Supersport defence, and lay out opportunities for the central attacking duo of Khama Billiat and Percy Tau.
The latter combo did well, but did not quite connect. Sundowns were denied a penalty when Tau was brought down in the box, but referee Victor Gomes waved play on.
On the opposite end, Denis Onyango had a more relaxed time, but the Ugandan did give the Sundowns fans a scare we hen he fluffed his lines following a back pass from Manyisa, but his experience saw him salvaging the situation to clear the ball from the attacking Supersport front man.
Captain Hlompho Kekana led from the front once more as he tried to shoot from range but was off target.
Coach Pitso Modimane paired Soumahoro Bangaly with Motjeka Madisha, and the pair did well to keep any attacks by Supersport at bay. In particular, it was the tenacity of Madisha which shone through, showing just how much the youngster has grown and matured.
Supersport seemed content to absorb the Sundowns attacks with the hope of catching Sundowns on the counter. But Manyisa and Kekana were on the alert and regularly broke down these counters.
Lebese showed glimpses of brilliance, and his combination play with Billiat and Tau showed that once settled, this combination will be a potent one.
Aubrey Modiba did give Onyango some work as he cut through the Sundowns defence to shoot from range, with efforts going just over the cross bar and Onyango tipping over for a corner.
Soumahoro did not capitalize on a ball which fell for him in the box, and Billiat shot for goal but his effort was blocked in the box by Clayton Daniels.
Towards the half way mark, Sundowns increased the intensity of their bombardment, and a goal was inevitable. It did come when Kekana poked the ball low into the far corner to beat the Supersport goalkeeper and give his side a 1-0 lead.
In the second half the onslaught on the Supersport area continued. Zwane and Morena combined well on the right, and Supersport saw little of the posession as the Brazilians looked for the insurance goal.
A long clearance set up a counter as Billiat controlled the ball to put through Zwane, whose low shot found the back of the net.
Supersport were reduced to 10 men when Dean Furman was give a second yellow, further compounding their woes.
Mosimane pulled off Lebese and sent on Yannick Zakri, and Laffor was brought on for Tau.
The Brazilians continued their quest for goals , but it was Onyango who was called on to save from a header by Bradley Grobelaar.
In the end, the Brazilians took the baby steps on their way to reclaiming the league championship.
How Sundowns lined up:
Denis Onyango, Thapelo Morena, Tebogo Langerman, Soumahoro Bangaly, Motjeka Madisha, Oupa Manyisa, Hlompho Kekana, Percy Tau,(Anthony Laffor), Khama Billiat, Themba Zwane, George Lebese (Yannick Zakri).