Shalulile Wonder Goal Secures Three Points At Loftus

Mamelodi Sundowns secured victory over Maritzburg United in the DStv Premiership on Wednesday evening to maintain their lead at the top of the table.

Bafana Ba Style reasserted their supremacy in their return to domestic league competition with a dominant performance at Loftus Versfeld Stadium. Sundowns entered the clash in good form, having won their last five consecutive league games. They sit atop the DStv Premiership standings and have yet to concede a goal in the top-flight so far this season.

The defending Champions were strong and slick, a formidable collective in which every player knew their part and performed it well playing against a compact United that tried to close down the hosts with every touch they made on the ball.

The game began at a frenetic pace with both sides playing a high tempo game looking to get the early opener. Travis Graham of Maritzburg collided with Grant Kekana as both players went mid-air in a momentum to attack the ball, as they received medical attention, both teams had the chance to regroup and slow down the pace. United proved to be no pushovers in the contest and made The Brazilians work hard on finding spaces to play the ball.

Heading into the final moments of the first half Downs came firing out of the blocks, Peter Shalulile tested goalkeeper Marcel Engelhardt with a right-footed shot, but the close-range effort went over the goalposts.

Both teams headed into the halftime break goalless and came out of the tunnel looking to battle it out in the final 45 minutes of play. Downs found solutions to the compact game in the second half as their identity and playing style was more visible with passes and moving forward in attack. 

As the game entered the closing stages, Masandawana charged an excellent counter attack, passing the ball from Themba Zwane in combination with Haashim Domingo who found Pavol Safranko in perfect position to put Downs on the front foot. The Slovakian striker was present with a superb shot at goal but saved by Engelhardt who gave the hosts a second chance to go for goal, however unfortunate in their execution.

The Brazilians finally found a scoring opportunity through Shalulile who broke the deadlock with a first-time time touch assisted by Neo Maema and the champions were set to continue with their winning momentum. Shalulile scored his sixth goal in eight league appearances.

Bafana Ba Style’s victory lap nearly ended when United’s winger Lifa Hlongwane fired an intentional shot at Reyaad Pieterse and threatened Downs’ clean sheet as he missed by a few inches. Mothobi Mvala also had his moment to test the keeper in the last minutes of game play before the referee blew his whistle to finish the encounter.

Masandawana introduced striker Gift Motupa alongside attacking midfielder Lesedi Kapinga in the final minutes as the team managed the game to secure the result. The home win sees Bafana Ba Style go three points clear of second placed Stellenbosch FC as they continued with their flawless start to the season.

This is how we lined up: R. Pieterse, M. Lebusa ©  , D. Lunga, K. Mudau, G. Kekana, A. Jali, H. Domingo (93′ Kapinga), N. Maema (90′ Lakay), T. Zwane, P. Safranko (78′ Mvala), P. Shalulile (90′ Motupa).

Subs: K. Mweene, T. Morena, L. Lakay, L. Kapinga, S. Mkhulise, G. Motupa, R. Nascimento, S. Vilakazi, M. Mvala.

2 Responses
  1. Downs4ever

    Hard work pays off.The whole team performed very well,all players worked hard,that is what we need to see when players deserving players are given chances.Special performance by Pieterse,Mudau,Lunga,Domingo and Lebusa was also very solid.No need to mention Shalulile,AJ,Zwane and Kekana coz they are forever on top of their game.Safranko eases pressure on Shalulile through his hard work,never stop s running.Happy to see our lethal weapon back (Motupa).Thanks for the win.I want you guys to make records no team will be able to break in our lifetime.I think now we are the only team in the entire world that has never conceded a league goal to this far.I saved the best for last,lastly,Maema,Maema what a player,speed,skill,confidence,cleverness,hard work,energetic and so slippery like a fish inside the water.I said it after the cup game that the technical team is wasting that boy’s talent hope they know that we as Downs supporters criticize in good faith.The boy knows how to pass the ball and can do anything and everything with the ball.Loved the energy and the hunger in all players.Thanks for that fat 3 points.

  2. Mfana

    What a great game by the boys,I mean 8 games without conceding a single goal.You guys are just WOW it’s very difficult to explain the way u do things is out of this world. I mean the back it’s like you are having a bunch of playmakers.Eve Pieterse his days were looking like they were numbered but things changed for t the best.People are walking where they are talking,if it is said anyone who need a starting lineup raise up his hand it happens.Not that nonsense when it was declared a player is injured for months only to find out that the coach was lying when a player is being interviewed.Mngqithi,Thulani&the learned colleague Kompela you must give yourselves a great round of applause.. Divine Lunga with time will be a great left back if given a chance like what I’m seeing being done by Mudau &is fast making the right back position his. I so wish Safranko can get his confidence and show us why he was brought in our shores. I wish Kutumela a speedy recovery and is needed very much in the champions league endeavours,I mean we are not asking for a clean sheet throughout the season but if needs be let us break the records for all the good reasons. I mean 8 successive games without conceding a goal is a great milestone.Thank you guys for a splendid performance.

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