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By Katlego Modiba

Football Journalist

Mendieta makes his mark as Sundowns sink Richards Bay

The Sundowns man netted in his first start for Masandawana.

Junior Mendieta scored the only goal of the match as Mamelodi Sundowns registered a narrow 1-0 win over Richards Bay at King Zwelithini Stadium on Wednesday.

Mendieta was making his first start for the Chloorkop-based side, who have now won all five of their league games in the new campaign.

He was eager to impress following his big-money move from fellow top flight side Stellenbosch FC. The goal would have done his confidence the world of good after he was selected Man of the Match for being the difference between the two sides.

Tembo in trouble?

Warning bells will be ringing in the Richards Bay camp. They lacked bite and Kaitano Tembo will certainly come under scrutiny if his team don’t overcome their slow start to the season.

The revolving PSL door is harsh on coaches after a few bad results. Tembo has yet to register a win in four games with three defeats and one draw.

The opening goal was flair personified, with a pair of South Americans coming to the fore for the the Brazilians, combining brilliantly to break the deadlock.

Mendieta backheeled the ball to his Brazilian teammate Ribeiro who in return produced a defence-splitting pass.for the Argentine to score his first goal in Sundowns colours.

Mendieta’s goal came in the 11th minute, but even before that Lesiba Nku should have put the defending champions ahead when The Natal Rich Boyz lost the ball trying to play from the back. However, the former Marumo Gallants winger sent his shot over the bar.

Richards Bay pressed high up looking to force mistakes but they failed to make good use of the ball when they won it.

Ronwen Williams was called into action 22 minutes into the game from a header by Siyanda Dlamini and the goalkeeper did well to parry the ball over the bar.

Aubrey Modiba should have put the visitors two goals ahead shortly after the break but his right-footed effort went wide of goal.

The second half was a scrappy affair with both teams not able to create clear-cut chances.

The win stretched Sundowns’ run to five successive league wins while Richards Bay are still searching for their win of the season.

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