Michaelson Ntokozo Gumede

By Ntokozo Gumede


Sundowns see off Arrows to retain lead at the top

Sundowns now lead second-placed Orlando Pirates by two points.

Mamelodi Sundowns retained their lead at the summit of the DStv Premiership by two points over rivals Orlando Pirates.

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Masandawana beat Golden Arrows 2-1 on Saturday night at the Tuks Stadium to bolster their title defence with a second successive win after beating Chippa United 1-0 last time out.

Just when co-coaches Vusimuzi Vilakazi and Mabhudi Khenyeza thought they were going to have a rather light talk at half time, they were forced to change their interval speeches as Peter Shalulile made sure that Masandawana went into the break with their noses in front.

Shalulile scored on the brink of half time to take his tally to six DStv Premiership goals and overall tally of 57 goals for Downs in all competitions.

Shalulile was brought down by goalkeeper Nkosingiphile Gumede after dribbling past defender Ntsikelelo Nxadi. Man in the middle, Masixole Bambiso did not hesitate to point to the penalty spot.

It took the visitors about five minutes to come up with a response as they scored from a well flung in cross in the face of goal. Sundowns’ rear guard could not deal with the danger as Pule Mmodi was at the end of the square ball to punish Ronwen Williams.

Some 10 minutes later, defender Siyavuya Ndlovu undid all the work that Abafana Bes’thende did in trying to stay in the game when he turned the ball into his own net.

While some Arrows fans may wag their fingers at Ndlovu, it was the brilliance of Man-of-the-Match Themba Zwane who dazzled past his markers, playing combinations with Khuliso Mudau to navigate through.

Zwane then played a cross into the box and neither Shalulile nor Marcelo Allende could lash on to it, but fortunately for Downs, Ndlovu was there to do them the favour as Sundowns managed to absorb the pressure and held on for three points.