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Mamelodi Sundowns

Downs Begin Title Defence On Winning Note

Mamelodi Sundowns began the defence of their DStv Premiership title with a 1-0 win over AmaZulu on Friday evening.

DStv Premiership

Result: Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 AmaZulu

Date: 20 August 2021

Venue: Loftus Versfeld

Sundowns were unchanged from the MTN8 win over Kaizer Chiefs while Usuthu handed new signing, Gambian Matarr Ceesay a spot in the line-up, with Bongonkosi Ntuli and Sphesihle Maduna both recalled.

The visitors had a bright start, imposing their game high up the pitch but they nearly went behind in the 13th minute after Haashim Domingo latched on a a loose ball outside the box that missed wide although his effort went just wide.

The Brazilians got into the game after that, with their high press restricting AmaZulu playing from the back but they could not break down their resilient defence.

However, Zwane had a great chance to break the deadlock for Sundowns seven minutes before the half-time break after going through on goal on the right side of the box but he could not apply the finishing touch.

Zwane eventually gave Masandawana the lead on the stroke of half-time with a well-taken penalty after Thembela Sikhakhane had brought down Shalulile in the box.

View images of Downs' new kit for the 2021/22 season!

 

Benni McCarthy's charges took the game to the Brazilians in the early stages of the second stanza but their final pass in the last third let them down and they were nearly punished on a counter-attack in the 62nd minute after Shalulile went through on the left side of the box but his low strike missed the bottom corner by a whisker.

McCarthy made a double change immediately after that, after bringing on Tshepang Moremi and Lehlohonolo Majoro for Keagan Buchanan and Ntuli while three minutes later, Sundowns also brought on Gaston Sirino in place of Modiba in attack.

Majoro had a big chance to snatch the equaliser for the visitors in the 67th minute after a latching onto a loose ball from a scramble inside the box, that needed just a tap-in but his effort was cleared off the line by Rushine De Reuck.

Shalulile had a wonderful chance to seal the deal for the Brazilians in the last quarter of an hour after receiving a square pass from Thapelo Morena unmarked inside the box but he dragged his shot wide, but the one goal was enough to get the job done as Usuthu were unable to threaten in the closing stages.

Here's how they started:

Sundowns: 1. Mweene, 25. Mudau, 7. Lakay, 28. De Reuck, 5. Lebusa, 41. Mvala, 23. Domingo, 40. Coetzee, 17. Modiba, 18. Zwane, 38. Shalulile.

Subs: 30. Pieterse, 10. Sirino, 27. Morena, 4. G.Kekana, 35. Maema, 15. Jali, 21. Mkhulise, 9. Safranko, 32. Kutumela.

AmaZulu: 44. Mothwa, 5. Sikhakane, 13. Zulu, 27. Xoki, 39. Mgwazela, 8. Makhuala, 10. Sithebe, 45. Buchanan, 7. Ntuli, 21. Ceesay, 34. Maduna.

Subs: 43. Boshoff, 18. Moleko, 22. Khumalo, 25. Mzava, 19. Moremi, 23. Ekstein, 23. Mlambo, 14. De Jong, 20. Majoro.

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