Mamelodi Sundowns made it two wins from their opening two league games after Neo Maema’s last-gasp winner secured all three points at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
The Brazilians dominated much of the early proceedings, taking control of possession in the opposition half as Amakhosi retreated into a low block.
Masandawana newbie Thapelo Maseko was the stand out threat in the first half as he engaged in an enthralling battle with his opposing fullback Reeve Frosler on the left hand flank. The two went head-to-head in numerous duels that filled the stadium with energy. Maseko’s trademark cut back from the byline found Shalulile unmarked, however the Namibian’s attempt on goal was cleared away by the Chiefs defender.
The intensity in the press from Downs was clear to see and it paid off just after twenty minutes as midfielder Themba Zwane forced a mistake from Edson Castillo whose loose pass fell to Shalulile in the box, the Namibian unselfishly teed up Lucas Ribeiro who scored his second goal in as many games.
The remainder of the first half saw Bafana Ba Style look to extend their lead, with chances falling to Mosa Lebusa and Riberio, however the team were unable to punish. As a result the high energy first half came to an end with Sundowns ahead.
The second half began with an early chance for the home side, the Brazilians Lucas Ribiero played a delightful ball across goal to Shalulile who was unable to finish from close range as the ball got stuck under his feet.
The difficulty in front of goal would continue for the remainder of the second half for the as the team in yellow struggled to put their chances away. Striker Shalulile was twice denied by Brandon Petersen who stood tall to foil the Namibian’s attempts.
Thapelo Maseko saw two chances go abegging as his rebounded effort from a Petersen save went wide, before he also had a right-footed shot saved by the Amakhosi shot-stopper.Coach Rulani and his technical team looked to freshen up the side with the introduction of Neo Maema, Sipho Mbule and Brian Onyango midway through the second half.
With six minutes to go the visiting side pulled one goal back on a breakaway attack, with Ashley Du Preez netting past Ronwen Williams, who had a fairly quiet afternoon between the sticks.
With regulation time coming to a close, The Brazilians launched one final attack on goal and it proved to be decisive as substitute Neo Maema volleyed the ball into the back of the net to secure the winning goal in the final minute of the game and send the sold out Lucas Moripe stadium into raptures.
Bongani Zungu and Aubrey Modiba were entered into the fray in stoppage to help Downs close out the result and register their second win of the season. The Brazilians will now switch gear to prepare for the upcoming Wafa Wafa clash in the MTN8 against Steve Komphela’s Moroka Swallows side this weekend.
How We Lined Up: Williams, Mudau, Boutouil, Mvala, Lebusa, Mokoena, Allende, Zwane, Ribeiro, Maseko, Shalulile.
Subs: D. Onyango, B. Onyango, Maema, Kekana, Nku, Mbule, Zungu, Modiba, Aubaas