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By Katlego Modiba

Football Journalist

Sundowns edge closer to title with narrow win over Sekhukhune

Masandawana are now two games away from clinching a record-extending seventh successive league title.

Mamelodi Sundowns extended their unbeaten run to 22 DStv Premiership games following a 2-1 win over Sekhukhune United at Loftus Versfeld on Tuesday night.

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Sundowns made a blistering start to the game with Tashreeq Matthews and Thapelo Morena scoring inside the opening eight minutes of the game.

Chibuike Ohizu pulled one back for the Limpopo side early in the second half to set up a tense finish to the match but the early damage was enough for the Brazilians to claim all three points.

Masandawana are now two games away from clinching a record-extending seventh successive league title. Six more points will take the Tshwane giants to an unassailable mark of 62 points over the chasing pack.

Football is a game of small margins and the first half was a clear example of that. The 2-0 scoreline at half time was perhaps not a true reflection of the opening 45 minutes as Sekhukhune had a number of great chances to get themselves back in the game but poor finishing let them down. Linda Mntambo and Jammie Webber were the main culprits for Babina Noko.

Rulani Mokwena’s makeshift team held all aces at the break thanks to two quick-fire goals by Matthews and Morena. The Sundowns coach rested his starting XI to the team that narrowly lost 1-0 to Esperance in the first leg of the Caf Champions League semifinal against last Saturday. The two teams meet again on Friday to decide who will contest the final of the continental club competition.

Matthews gave Sundowns a perfect start to settle some early nerves at Loftus. He turned provider seven minutes later after dispossessing Tresor Yamba who was caught napping on the ball. Matthews teed up Morena who controlled before slotting past goalkeeper Badra Sangare.

Sekhukhune made a bright start to the second half and pulled one back via a penalty by Ohizu. Brian Onyako gave away the spot kick five minutes after the restart and Ohizu converted to make it 2-1.

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Veteran goalkeeper Denis Onyango had to be stretchered off after a collision with Mntambo that left him concussed. Jody February replaced the 38-year-old and made a couple of good saves to secure his side maximum points in what was a hard-fought victory.