Peter Shalulile’s bid to break the Premier Soccer League scoring record got a much-needed boost yesterday, as the Sundowns striker broke his short scoring drought to net in Masandawana’s 2-0 DStv Premiership win over Sekhukhune United at Ellis Park.
With the DStv Premiership title sewn up, Sundowns are basically left chasing statistics, though co-head coach Rulani Mokwena has insisted that there is no such thing as a dead rubber for the Tshwane giants.
There certainly isn’t for Shalulile right now, the Namibian striker moving to 22 Premiership goals for the season, with three league games left to play. Collins Mbesuma hold the PSL record with 25 strikes in the 2004/05 season in the colours of Kaizer Chiefs.
The lethal forward got his goal in stoppage time and Thabiso Kutumela supplied the assist, setting the seal on another three points.
Sundowns did field an experimental line-up, with Lebohang Maboe pairing with Sphelele Mkhulise in midfield, while Reyaad Pieterse got just his fifth start in the Premiership this season.
Pule Mariasane also made his first Premiership appearance off the bench, suggesting that whatever Sundowns’ coaches have said, they are already trying out new combinations.
It was Aubrey Modiba who opened the scoring in the 28th minute with a wonderful long range effort, to net his third Sundowns goal since joining the champions elect from SuperSport United last season.
While Modiba rightly got the plaudits, Themba Zwane did the dirty work, collecting the ball from his backline, surging forward and losing a couple of defenders before passing the ball to Modiba, who had a look at Sekhukhune goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata before slamming an unstoppable shot past him.
Owen Da Gama and MacDonald Makhubedu’s side failed to score for a third game in a row, leaving them stranded in 10th position, as they push for a top eight finish.
Shalulile’s next chance to add to his tally comes against Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday, and Sundowns will no doubt need little motivation to once again illustrate the gap between themselves and Amakhosi.
Meanwhile, the Brazilians’ neighbours SuperSport United were held to a goalless draw at the Lucas Moripe Stadium by Limpopo-based Marumo Gallants. The capital city campaigners are still unbeaten since Andre Arendse took from Kaitano Tembo, who was relieved of his duties last month.