Michaelson Ntokozo Gumede

By Ntokozo Gumede

Journalist


Shalulile on target as Sundowns edge Chippa and extend lead

Downs showed their prowess on Tuesday night when they beat Chippa United 2-1.


Even though they return to the Eastern Cape with nothing, Chippa United can take solace in that they are the first team – in eight games – to score against defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns.

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Chippa head coach Morgan Mammila made some bold claims in the build up to the tie, saying Sundowns are the “simplest” team to play against in the league, but the result, however, told a different story as the defending champions edged the Chilli Boys 2-1 at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Tuesday night.

It was Teboho Mokoena who opened the scoring for Masandawana in the 14th minute when he headed in Aubrey Modiba set-piece. Modiba stood over the free-kick and played it into the path of Mokoena, who headed home to net his maiden league goal of the season.

Sundowns mentor, Rulani Mokwena rang the changes in the second half and one of the substitutes Peter Shalulile was given a warm reception by the Masandawana faithful. Shalulile made his return from an injury that kept him out of action since last October, coming in for young Cassius Mailula, who has been holding down the fort in the Namibian striker’s absence.

Despite the lengthy lay off, it did not take Shalulile long to get going as he scored a beautiful header to give Downs the cushion goal just 10 minutes after coming on.

Coach Rulani Mokwena can hold his head up high in pride as Shalulile’s goal was made from the bench.

Gaston Sirino and Sifiso Ngobeni, who came on with Shalulile at the same time, combined when Sirino played a well-timed pass to Ngobeni down the left, who played a delightful ball to the Namibian who could not miss from that range.

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After much probing, the Chilli Boys eventually found the back of the net, becoming the first team to score against the Tshwane giants in eight league games. Thabiso Lebitso’s stoppage-time goal created much anxiety for Sundowns supporters who were on the edge of their seats until the final whistle.

The Brazilians have now scored 21 goals in their last 10 Premiership games, meanwhile, the result sees Bafana Ba Style creating breathing space and a healthy lead between themselves and close chasers SuperSport United. The Pretoria giants will clash in the derby next week Monday at Loftus Versfeld.

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