Mamelodi Sundowns swept aside TS Galaxy to claim a 3-0 victory in Mbombela as they made their return to DStv Premiership action.
The result kept the defending Champions in first place in the Premier Soccer League with 51 points. Downs were pressing well and showing no signs of fatigue from their weekend’s outing to Egypt.
The first real opportunity of the match fell to Khuliso Mudau after both teams had a go at each other for most part of the opening half. The pacey wing back unleashed a shot from range to score his first league goal of the season.
The Rockets Winger Lindokuhle Mbatha found himself in the referee’s book for the second time after hauling down Haashim Domingo and was sent off. The first shot on target for Namibian international Peter Shalulile came in after 30 minutes of tussling with the defenders, however his attempt was blocked by Pogiso Sanoka.
The hosts then had an opportunity to attack through Augustine Kwem but Masandawana’s defense dealt with it. The Brazilians were set on course dominating in ball possession and dictating the encounter before the referee blew his whistle for half time. Sundowns went into the break with a 1 – 0 lead at the Mbombela Stadium.
Shortly after the second half resumed, TS had the ball in Downs’ half as Aphelele Teto penetrated through the wall and charged towards Kennedy Mweene before his shot went wide past goals. Bafana Ba Style had a few more chances shortly , with Domingo who found himself in a good position to shoot for goal, but let down by his shot. Meanwhile Masandawana’s wing backs continued to cause issues for The Rockets as both Sphelele Mkhulise and Thapelo Morena were creating chances on the side, combining well with Shalulile who was unfortunately surrounded by three defenders.
Lesedi Kapinga crossed in a dangerous ball with Domibgo waiting in the box to convert, but it was blocked out before Galaxy desperately scrapped to clear the danger.
TS Galaxy showed more confidence in the second half with Teto getting a shot away at the edge of the box, but it was comfortable for the experienced Sundowns goalie. Then The Brazilians had a good spell of possession as they won a number of balls.
A pass from Teboho Mokoena to Domingo once again created a goal scoring chance for Masandawana, Domingo wasted no time from far and put the ball over Van der Linde. A cleverly worked counter attack saw another breakthrough for the visitors as Divine Lunga, who had just come on the field for Lyle Lakay played low cut through the defense to Shalulile who placed the third goal in for Masandawana.
TS Galaxy continued to chase the game with Downs who were relentless in and out of possession until the final whistle.
This is how we lined up:
Mweene © , T. Mokoena, L. Kapinga (79′ Erasmus), L. Lakay (68′ Lunga), B. Onyango, R. Coetzee (46′ Mkhulise), H. Domingo, K. Mudau (68′ Kutumela), G. Kekana, P. Shalulile (79′ Maema), T. Morena
Pieterse, A. Modiba, D. Lunga,M. Mvala, T. Kutumela, N. Maema, K. Erasmus, G. Malukeka, S. Mkhulise