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Mamelodi Sundowns

Downs' New No.9 Nets Late Winner On Absa Prem Debut

Absa Premiership

Result Mamelodi Sundowns  1-0 Highlands Park

Date: 23 October 2019

Venue: Lucas Moripe Stadium

Mamelodi Sundowns moved to within two points of Absa Premiership leaders Kaizer Chiefs after defeating Highlands Park, with their new No.9 netting the winning goal.

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The Brazilians were forced to make two changes from their thumping win over AmaZulu in the Telkom Knockout, as goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene came to the side in place of regular shot-stopper Denis Onyango, who was attending a family bereavement, while Lebohang Maboe replaced the injured Jose Ali Meza.

Highlands were pressing the hosts high in the early stages and they nearly got the opener in the fifth minute after Mothobi Mvala unleashed powerful strike from the edge of the box that crashed off the far post.

Thapelo Morena was denied the opening goal in a one-on-one situation immediately after that incident by goalkeeper Thela Ngobeni, before Themba Zwane was denied by the Highlands shot-stopper in the 27th minute as Sundowns began to take control.

Pitso Mosimane's troops gained momentum in the closing phase of the first stanza but they could not apply the finishing touches to their attacks as Hlompho Kekana missed a clear-cut chance a minute before the break after looping his shot over the bar from six-yards out.

It was more of the same for Sundowns in the start of the second half, which prompted Mosimane to make his first change in the 65th minute after bringing on Mauricio Affonso in place of Maboe.

The Uruguayan nearly made an immediate impact as his cushioned header towards the far side found an un-marked Morena but the Sundowns winger struck the crossbar with only Ngobeni to beat.

The Lions of the North were defending in numbers in the closing phase, as midfielder Wayde Jooste came on for pacey forward Mokete Mogaila to keep a compact shape in midfield.

However, the Brazilians snatched the winning goal in stoppage time as Affonso unleashed a clinical left-footed strike to the far corner to send Sundowns up to second spot.

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Here's how they lined up:

Sundowns: 1. Mweene, 4. Langerman, 16. Ngcongca, 2. Madisha, 15. Jali, 8. Kekana, 5. Lebusa, 10. Sirino, 33. Maboe, 18. Zwane, 27. Morena.

Subs: 39. Ngcobo, 11. Vilakazi, 40. Coetzee, 7. Lakay, 21. Mkhulise, 17. Mahlambi, 9. Affonso.

Highlands: 32. Ngobeni, 10. Mokoena, 21. Mbhele, 23. Msimango, 24. Rae, 8. Mbunjana, 22. Williams, 43. Mbatha, 38. Shalulile, 14. Mvala, 12. Mogaila.

Subs: 30. Peters, 5. Fransman, 6. Letsholonyane, 48. Banda, 27. Jooste, 17. Motlafi, 7. Ndoro.

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