Champions Mamelodi Sundowns ended their DStv Premiership season with an entertaining 3-2 win over Royal AM on Monday afternoon.
Result: Royal AM 2-3 Mamelodi Sundowns
Date: 23 May 2022
Venue: Chatsworth Stadium
Sundowns had at least 17 players ruled out due for the fixture, with some of the players missing after a flu outbreak in the team. As a result, goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse, Themba Zwane and Andile Jali, who started on Saturday, missed out as Kennedy Mweene, Gaston Sirino, Lyle Lakay and Sphelele Mkhulise were recalled.
Royal AM were quick out of the blocks in the first half, but they went behind in the 14th minute from a counter-attack as Sirino side-footed a low volley into the bottom corner after getting on the end of Mkhulise's cross.
The Brazilians settled better in the game after going ahead but they lacked the urgency going forwad, as they found themselves absorbing the pressure and playing on transitions.
John Maduka's charges had the attacking momentum towards the end of the first stanza as they put Sundowns under pressure but they were unable to trouble Mweene.
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The Brazilians had a quick start in the second stanza as Thabiso Kutumela doubled their lead within three minutes from the restart with a first-time strike after a neat passing move.
The game opened up as Thwihli Thwahla pushed numbers forward and were punished on a counter-attack on the hour mark as Peter Shalulile made it 3-0 with a tap-in and notched up his 23rd goal in the league after he was unselfishly setup by Thabiso Mokoena.
Maduka's men had a chance to reduce the deficit just after that after they were awarded a penalty for a foul on Victor Letsoalo by Grant Kekana in the box but Letsoalo's spot-kick was saved by Mweene.
However, Letsoalo redeemed himself seven minutes later as he pulled a goal back for Royal AM with a close-range finish unmarked in the box after a cut-back by Tebogo Potsane.
Sundowns made a quadruple change in the 73rd minute that included Bolivian Erwin Saavedra getting a run, as they took their foot off the pedal.
That allowed Thwihli Thwahla to pull a second goal back three minutes later as Mokete Mogaila fired home an unstoppable strike at the near post after the Brazilians failed to deal with a corner.
The hosts played a high line in search of the equaliser in the dying minutes and looked threatening on their attacks but Sundowns managed to shut them out and secured maximum points in their final clash.
Here's how they lined up:
Royal AM: 16. Nyame, 14. Matlaba, 13. Manganyi,2. Msomi, 5. Dlamini, 11. Potsane, 12. Mahlasela, 8. Phalane, 9. Macuphu, 17. Mogaila, 21. Letsoalo
Subs: 25. Mpoto, 34. Thikazi, 7. Pelembe, 42. Ncobeni, 30. Monamodi, 45. George, 10. Mabena, 50. Masuku, 18. Mashikinya.
Sundowns: 1. Mweene, 4. Kekana, 7. Lakay, 13. Lunga, 25. Mudau, 21. Mkhulise, 28. Mokoena, 32. Kutumela, 10. Sirino, 35. Maema, 38. Shalulile
Subs: 20. Goss, 17. Modiba, 5. Lebusa, 14. Mvala, 31. Maraisane, 44. Mahshiane, 24. Vilakazi, 39. Saavedra