Mamelodi Sundowns thumped Maritzburg United 5-0 in Tuesday night’s DStv Premiership clash at Harry Gwala Stadium. The Brazilians enjoyed their return to league action after a disappointing weekend on home ground, it was the best possible way for the defending Champions to show their intentions of defending the title.
Bafana Ba Style looked to take control of the encounter in the opening minutes of the first half, it was Haashim Domingo who put up the first threat for Sundowns. Domingo chipped in the ball over the defenders, but was unfortunate to not have his teammates positioned in the right place to attack the effort. The Tshwane giants continued pushing forward with intent and ferocity, putting pressure on the defenders who ended up committing fouls as they were unable to keep up with the pressure.
Downs goalie Ronwen Williams had to get into action when he made an abrupt save from a corner kick attempt, Maritzburg looked to open the scoring board with an in-swinger. Williams made a fine save and set his team up for a counter attack.
As the game approached 20 minutes of open play, Neo Maema selected his pass to Cassius Mailula who spotted Domingo upfront, the 27-year old midfielder fired a long range shot which went slightly off target. Thapelo Morena and Domingo’s goals were three minutes apart, it all started with Mailula who connected the ball from the middle of the park to set up Morena on the right side of the pitch. Morena crafted a low cross into the box to meet Domingo who struck the first time as Anye Derick failed to make the save for the Team of Choice.
Shortly after his outstanding assist, Morena put in the second goal for Bafana Ba Style, this time assisted by Maema with a pass in the 18 area. The last few minutes towards half time, Masandawana showed total dominance on the pitch, winning every ball that the opposition tried playing forward and making minimal errors in their passess. Teboho Mokoena found the opportunity to put in a cross towards the far post, with Mailula who found space in the box and stretched out to connect his shot but was saved by Derick and the defenders.
Sundowns continued to look the more likely scorers in the opening exchanges, shortly afterwards Mailula got his name on the scoresheet after putting pressure on the last line of defense. Morena was involved yet again with a perfectly put cross straight past the box, Mailula got on to it and beat the keeper to score his first DStv Premiership goal. The Brazilians went into the break leading with three goals to zero.
Sundowns kept up the tempo in the second half, and shortly after the restart made changes, Mothobi Mvala and Bradley Ralani took the place of Rushine De Reuck and Sphelele Mkhulise. It was yet another one-way traffic in the second half with Downs pounding the defenders with ongoing attacks as they nearly extended the lead.
The hosts persevered and held on, with Van der Ross battling with Mosa Lebusa on the side looking promising for the home team, Tumelo Njoti hit the side of the net with his attempt at goal. The 4th goal was another well-worked goal, Domingo hit his brace with an assist from Morena.
Mailula completed his brace, after receiving Ralani’s pass the midfielder sent the defenders in the opposite direction and registered the last goal for Masandawana. The battle ended with five fine goals for Downs as they remain at the top of the log standing with 25 points.
This is how we lined up: R. Williams, T. Morena, R. De Reuck (57′ Mvala), M. Lebusa © (80′ Mudau), G. Kekana, T. Mokoena (80′ Jali), S. Mkhulise (57′ Ralani), N. Maema, H. Domingo, C. Mailula, M. Allende (70′ Maboe).
Subs: D. Onyango, L. Kapinga, T. Zwane, A. Jali, L. Maboe, M. Mvala, G. Sirino, K. Mudau, B. Ralani.