Mamelodi Sundowns continued their winning start to the league campaign as their recorded an 8th straight win at home against Stellenbosch FC on Wednesday evening at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Goals from Grant Kekana, Aubrey Modiba and Siyabonga Mabena would be enough to overturn an early deficit and see Bafana Ba Style continue the early season trend of winning all of their domestic league matches.
Rain and lightning in surrounding areas meant there was a delay to kick off, with the match delayed by 30 minutes before conditions were suitable for action to get underway.
Masandawana were put in a tricky situation early on as they conceded only their third league goal of the season in the 14th minute when Devin Titus tapped home a rebounded effort from close range. The goal would mark the first time Downs have gone behind in the league this season, seeing their resolve tested in tricky midweek conditions.
Downs looked to work their way back into the game immediately after conceding, with midfielders Bongani Zungu and Junior Mendieta pulling the strings in the middle of the park, however both of their through ball attempts were marginally ahead of their targets in the box.
Defender Grant Kekana came closest with an effort from a corner that flashed across the face of goal as he escaped his man in the box. Kekana’s chance would prove to be an ominous warning as he would pop up a few minutes later to level matters, cleverly lobbing Sage Stephens in the Stellenbosch goal.
The pressure from the home side was unrelenting and they were duly rewarded five minutes after equalizing when Aubrey Modiba converted his free kick attempt, leaving the keeper with no chance and giving Ka Bo Yellow the lead.
The half would end with The Brazilians successfully overturning the deficit and leading by a solitary goal.
The second half with Downs creating more chances, with winger Thapelo Maseko looking threatening down the left hand side, having two of his shots blocked. Thapelo Morena and Modiba both came close to extending the lead as they both saw their efforts flash over the crossbar.
Coach Rulani rang the changes with 20 minutes to go in the game, introducing Lebohang Maboe and Sphelele Mkhulise to the fray, with the latter making his return to action after a lengthy injury layoff. Khuliso Mudau and youngster Siyabonga Mabena would make their way on to the pitch shortly after as Masandawana looked to seal the winning result.
It would get better for the team in Yellow on the stroke of full time as 16 year old Siyabonga Mabena scored his first ever Mamelodi Sundowns goal, tucking away a simple chance after incredibly unselfish play from striker and captain on the evening – Peter Shalulile.
The win would be Sundowns’ 8th consecutive in the league, marking their best ever start to a league campaign, amassing 24 points from a total of 24 and maintain their position at the summit of the table.
Up next, a quick turnaround for the team as they return to the training ground to prepare for their second leg qualifier in the CAF Champions League against Bumamuru FC this weekend.
How We Lined Up: Pieterse, Kekana, Coetzee, Mvala, Lebusa, Modiba, Zungu, Mendieta, Morena, Maseko, Shalulile ©
Subs: D. Onyango, B Onyango, Mashego, Mudau, Mabena, Ngobeni, Mkhulise, Maboe, Ribeiro, Zwane