Mamelodi Sundowns moved one step closer to retaining their Absa Premiership title following a 2-0 win over Golden Arrows at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Tuesday night, thanks to goals from captain Hlompho Kekana and Themba Zwane.
The energy levels were back up after the disappointment of being knocked out of the CAF Champions League semi-finals by Wydad Casablanca of Morocco over the weekend and the Brazilians wrapped up the Arrows game pretty quickly.
As early as the second minute, Downs had taken the lead through skipper Kekana, who was set up beautifully by Zwane. It was a well constructed move that set the tone for the home side to go for all three points.
Then just three minutes later the tally doubled when Gaston Sirino won the ball in the opposition half and immediately contributed with yet another assist, setting up ‘Mshishi’ for the second goal of the night.
Downs fans probably knew then that they would move to the top of the table – above Orlando Pirates by two points with only a single game outstanding before the championship race is decided on Saturday. Masandawana could have added to their two goals throughout the match, but the visitors seemed to find their feet again with a slightly more organised defensive block than in the opening minutes.
Goal scoring chances for Arrows were very limited, but they did come close in the first half when defender Musa Bilankulu skied his shot over the bar when he had goalkeeper Denis Onyango at his mercy.
Soon after, left back Tebogo Langerman went on one his surging runs forward and was almost rewarded for it. But the defender got his attempt past Arrows goalkeeper Max Mbaeva, but couldn’t beat the post.
Very little changed in the second, with Downs still dominant and will look to repeat the same performance away to Free State Stars at Goble Park on Saturday afternoon. A win for coach Pitso Mosimane’s men will guarantee them the title, allowing them to stretch their record to an unbelievable ninth championship in the Premier Soccer League era. Downs’ result against Arrows on Tuesday confirmed they will once again return to the CAF Champions League next season.
How Downs lined up:
Onyango, Langerman, Morena, Arendse, Nascimento, Kekana, Zwane, Coetzee, Vilakazi, Sirino, Maboe.
Subs: Pieterse, Lakay, Mabunda, Ngcongca, Mahlambi, Brockie, Soumahoro