Mamelodi Sundowns secured a precious 2-0 win against Sekhukhune United on Saturday to remain top of the log in the DStv Premiership.
Masandawana started the game on a high note with a continuous train of attack into Sekhukhune’s half as they looked to get a goal to settle into the encounter. A terrifying collision between Babina Noko’s goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata, defender Edwin Gyimah and Downs’ striker Pavol Safranko nearly spoiled the party in Pretoria but play resumed shortly after the players received clearance from the medical team.
Safranko managed the first attempt on goal, taking a shot following a pass from Peter Shalulile before Downs began an onslaught on Nsabata’s net. After their superb start to the encounter, the defending Champions deservedly took the lead in the 20th minute with Neo Maema’s perfectly placed shot into the roof of the net to give the hosts the lead. Namibian international Peter Shalulile shortly followed with an attempt at goal to help Bafana Ba Style extend the lead before the break but he could not connect with the ball well. Babina Noko’s first real danger in attack came from combinational play between Cheslyn Jamie’s and Nkanyiso Madonsela to give Denis Onyango his first task on the day as the ball went overhead past Downs’ goalposts.
The first half was a masterclass in possession football as The Brazilians played with Sekhukhune to see the game out comfortably and earn a vital lead. Masandawana’s attack and ball rotation sparked a period of near-total control with the defending Champions dominating the ball while Sekhukhune struggled to put together sustained passing moves. Maema’s goal put Bafana Ba Style in good position heading into the break with nine goal attempts and three on target for The Brazilians.
It was Sekhukhune United on attack in the second half of the encounter, showing more determination to come back into the game, Downs lead was threatened with a powerful shot coming from Jampies. Masandawana’s brilliance shortly surfaced, Khuliso Mudau combined great short passes with Themba Zwane on the right side of the field heading into attack with Mshishi taking a shot only to hit the side of Nsabata’s net. The Tshwane giants continued to dominate their opponents through on form Maema as he looked to assist Shalulile who went for glory but his effort met Sekhukhune’s Nyiko Mobbie in the penalty box, followed by a foul that handed Sundowns a penalty. Zwane stepped upto take the penalty and lead Masandawana into a 2-0 victory giving the beloved midfielder his third goal for the season.
The Brazilians’goalpoacher Shalulile was on the lookout for a goal of his own right after the lead but soon slipped as he tried to connect with the ball in Sekhukhune’s penalty box. On the right hand side Mudau continued with his marvelous defense and found opportunities to join in attack, “Sailor” was named Man of the match at the end of the encounter having given an outstanding performance. Kermit Erasmus was given a chance to play as he replaced Maema and had his chance to take shot at goal after Shalulile sets him up in the box.
Babina Noko missed good chances to come back into the game as Jampies clipped an effort past Onyango’s post, the fighting spirit of the visitors could be seen as they combined passes going forward. A miscalculated pass from Mosa Lebusa to Onyango was intercept by Tshediso Patjie in the dying minutes of the game, forcing Downs goalie to come out of the box to clear the danger. Onyango was fouled and given a red card for his attempt to save the ball outside the box and Kennedy Mweene was called to finish of the task on the day as well as Rivaldo Coetzee while Haashim Domingo and Safranko went off the field.
For all their posession and effort, Masabdawana collected maximum points on the day and retained their clean sheet while the win means that their unbeaten record still continues in the league.
This is how we lined up: D. Onyango, M. Lebusa © , Lyle Lakay, K. Mudau, G. Kekana, A. Jali, Neo Maema (60′ Erasmus), Pavol Safranko (88′ Coetzee), T. Zwane, H. Domingo (88′ Mwene), P. Shalulile
Subs: K. Mweene, G. Maluleka, T. Kutumela, A. Modiba, T. Morena, S. Vilakazi, G. Sirino, K. Erasmus, R. Coetzee.