Ntokozo Gumede
Football Writer
2 minute read
8 Dec 2021
6:06 pm

Sundowns edge Royal AM in a dramatic match at Loftus

Ntokozo Gumede

Sundowns almost let it slip against Royal AM.

Thabiso Kutumela of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates goal with teammate Peter Shalulile during the DStv Premiership 2021/22 football match between Sundowns and Royal AM at Loftus Stadium, Pretoria on 12 December 2021 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

The highly anticipated DStv Premiership tie between Mamelodi Sundowns and Royal AM penned out to be a thrilling contest that ended 3-2 in favour of the defending champions. 

It did not take long for Masandawana to find the back of the net and it was Thabiso Kutumela who opened the scoring just after six minutes after referee Thando Ndandzeka blew his whistle to signal kick-off at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium.

While it was Kutumela who fired the hosts into the lead, it was the industrious Thapelo Morena who did most of the work, dribbling past his markers with his blistering pace to deliver the assist for the former Maritzburg United captain.

However, the KwaZulu-Natal outfit did not roll over and play dead as they launched waves of attack at Sundowns but the Brazilians managed to remain resolute as they went into the break with their noses in front.

It was the second stanza that saw an avalanche of goals and it was Peter Shalulile who doubled up for Sundowns.

The Namibian forward missed a sitter in the first half but he seemingly came out of the break with his scoring boots on as he netted the first of his brace in the 65th minute. It was Morena again who delivered the assist, this time finding Shalulile on his bike to tap in what was a well-worked counter attack by Bafana Ba Style.

The leading goal scorer in the league was not done, as he netted his second on the day and 11th goal this campaign in the 72nd minute. Sundowns stole the ball deep in their own half after Royal AM fluffed a corner-kick. The attack was instigated by Andile Jali, who played some one-two with his teammates to get out of a tight spot. The former Orlando Pirates midfielder surged forward with pace and found Aubrey Modiba, who delivered a pin-point pass to Shalulile and the Namibian did what he does best.  

Victor Letsoalo was the gallant soldier for the visitors as he scored a brace. His first goal was a marvellous volley in the 81st minute and he converted a penalty in the 90th minute to set-up an intriguing finale to the game but Downs remained resolute in defence to seal all three points.