Mamelodi Sundowns overcame rivals Orlando Pirates in comfortable fashion at Loftus Versfeld stadium on Friday afternoon to win their final game of 2022. Despite the tricky conditions The Brazilians shoed poise and control to earn three points to solidify their place at the top of the DStv Premiership table.
Before the game kicked off the home fans were treated to a one-of-a-kind opening ceremony with a performance from Mamelodi-born Hlogi Mashigo and a dance routine from 100 local children.
On the pitch, the game got off to a cagey start, with the damp conditions forcing both sides to come out of the blocks cautiously to avoid making mistakes. The first chance of the game came in the 7th minute when Marcelo Allende opportunistically tried to catch Pirates goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane off his line with a long range keeper which was saved.
The first half was characterized by Masandawana’s domination of possession in the opposition half and when they were tested, shot stopper Ronwen Williams stoood firm to deny efforts from Monnapule Saleng and Thapelo Xoki.
The Brazilians edged into the lead four minutes before half time when Mothobi Mvala towered above the Pirates defense to head home a Mercelo Allende delivery into the box. Mvala’s performance in the heart of defence would go on to see him crowned man of the match as Downs went into the break a goal to the good. Despite the jubilation of Mvala’s goal, spirits were dampened moments before half time as Abubeker Nasir was stretchered off after picking up an injury in a collision with Mpontshane in the box.
Young forward Cassius Mailula entered the pitch after the break to replace Nasir and ot stuck in within minutes as he came close to latching on to Gaston Sirino’s low cross into the box. Mailula would make his mark on the game shortly after the one our mark, as he tapped home Neo Maema’s rebounded shot to double the lead.
The technical team refereshed the team on the pitch throughout the remainder of the half as Sipho Mbule, Haashim Domingo, Sphelele Mkhulise & Sifiso Ngobeni all made their way onto the pitch. Despite the comfortable lead, Downs continued to look hungry for a third and were denied by Mpontshane who saved Zwane’s one-on-one effort.
The win sees Masandawana continue their strong home form and end off the calendar year at the summit of the DStv Premiership table, with 31 points collected from the opening 13 games.
The action will continue to come thick and fast in the new year, as Bafana Ba Style gear up for another home encounter against Swallows FC on Tuesday evening.
How We Lined Up.
Williams, Mudau, Mvala, Kekana, Morena (Ngobeni), Mokoena, Allende (Mkhulise), Maema (Domingo), Zwane ©, Sirino(Mbule) , Nasir (Mailula)
Subs: D. Onyango, De Reuck, Mkhulise, Ngobeni, Domingo, Jali, Mbule, Motupa, Mailula