Mamelodi Sundowns achieved a new record with a fourth straight league title after an incredible 3-1 victory over SuperSport United in the Tshwane Derby on Wednesday evening.
The game started at a high-tempo and less than a minute into the encounter Gaston Sirino came close to opening the scoring as he rounded Ronwen Williams in goal before striking the upright. Minutes later, playmaker Sphelele Mkhulise was on the receiving end of a foul from SuperSport’s Guily Manziba, who was immediately shown a red card for dangerous play.
With the visitors down to ten men, both sides made early substitutions. Lebohang Maboe came on in place of Mkhulise, and the attacker showed his determination to get his name on the scoresheet, immediately testing Williams after Sirino’s corner kick.
Abafana Ba Style displayed character by the bucket load to complement their class and quality as another build-up of great touches between Sirino and winger Aubrey Modiba resulted in the opening goal of the Derby scored by Maboe, who bagged his second of the season.
Masandawana maintained composed and focused and shortly after scored their second and third goals within three minutes of each other, courtesy of Aubrey Modiba and Themba Zwane – with ‘Postman’ Modiba being instrumental in both. Downs went into the break 3-0 up ahead of their neighbours and had one hand on another league title.
The second half began with The Brazilians attacking aggressively, and Williams was forced to stop Sirino’s shot on target when Matsatsantsa’s defence failed to keep up with the pacey attacker. Keenan Philips was a kept busy man on the night and was adjudged to have handled in the box area giving Masandawana a penalty. Zwane stepped up to face his national teammate Williams and get himself a brace on the night, however Williams was up to the task as he stopped the shot and kept United from conceding another goal.
The visitors created a potential goal scoring opportunity as a deadly Bradley Grobler shot hit the upright. Brian Onyango’s slip over the ball in the middle of the field presented an opportunity for Grobler, however Mosa Lebusa was on duty and ended any threats towards the goals.
Downs made four substitutions in the second half with Promise Mkhuma, Mothobi Mvala, Mauricio Affonso and Sibusiso Vilakazi making their way onto the pitch.
Tebogo Mokoena clawed one back for the visitors as he made it 3-1 on the night with a strike from distance. Denis Onyango made crucial saves in the last minutes of the match as SuperSport looked for a second goal with determination however, after resisting multiple tests, Onyango was unfortunate to suffer an injury that forced him off. Brian Onyango stepped in to fill the boots of his namesake as the game headed towards the final whistle.
Mamelodi Sundowns ended the DStv Premiership season in style, clinching the title after twenty-seven matches played. The team will be looking to finish on a high with three games to play in the domestic campaign.
Aubrey Modiba walked away with the Man of the match award for his brilliant performance on the night.
How we lined up:
Onyango, Lebusa ©, B. Onyango, Morena, Modiba, Coetzee (77’ Mvala), Jali (77’ Mkhuma), Mkhulise (18’ Maboe), Zwane, Sirino (77’ Vilakazi), Erasmus (58’ Affonso).
Subs: Mweene, Affonso, Mkhuma, Nascimento, Lakay, Mudau, Maboe, Vilakazi, Mvala.