Impressive Sundowns Move Seven Points Clear Of Bucs
Absa Premiership Report: AmaZulu v Mamelodi Sundowns 02 March 2018
Result: AmaZulu 1-3 Mamelodi Sundowns
Date: 02 March 2018
Venue: King Zwelithini Stadium
Absa Premiership leaders Mamelodi Sundowns moved seven points clear of Orlando Pirates with a 3-1 win over AmaZulu at the King Zwelithini Stadium.
The Brazilians took the initiative to attack in the opening 10 minutes while Usuthu were looking to hit on the counter-attack.
Michael Morton almost gave the home side the lead in the 12th minute, but Sundowns defender Wayne Arendse made a crucial block to keep the scores level.
Masandawana were awarded a penalty in the 24th minute after Sedat Ouro-Akoriko brought down Percy Tau. Ricardo Nascimento stepped up and converted the spot-kick, 1-0.
However, Mhlengi Cele brought the hosts level seven minutes before half-time after Usuthu were awarded an indirect free-kick inside the box following an error by goalkeeper Razak, who handled a back pass inside the area.
Cele rifled a strike through the wall to restore parity for the home side.
Sundowns tried to restore their lead by going forward in the closing minutes of the first stanza but Usuthu remained resolute at the back.
Sibusiso Vilakazi eventually made it 2-1 to the Brazilians five minutes into the second stanza with a low shot after being picked out by Siyanda Zwane.
On the hour mark, Vilakazi got his second goal after Zwane’s strike hit the bottom of the upright and the rebound fell kindly for the former, who tapped home from close range.
There was a delay in the match as fans threatened to riot, launching missiles at the Sundowns technical area, which saw both benches take cover by heading onto the pitch.
The hold up did not hamper the momentum of the match, though, as the game continued to flow with 20 minutes remaining, although time was running out for Usuthu to get back into the contest.
Arendse almost scored an own goal for the home side 12 minutes before time after throwing his body on the line following a cross into the area but was relieved to see his inadvertent header miss inches wide.
Hlompho Kekana almost added a fourth with one of his trademark strikes from the halfway line but Boalefa Pule got back in time to make the save.
Nevertheless, there was no further goal-mouth action in the remaining stages of the second half as Sundowns ran out 3-1 winners on the night.
Here's how they lined up:
AmaZulu: 31. Pule, 29. Mabiliso, 17. M. Gumede, 25. P. Gumede, 13. Ouro-Akoriko, 33. Darpoh (Ncobeni 36'), 14. Mnguni, 4. Morton, 9. Cele, 10. Nomvethe, 2. Khenyeza.
Subs: Murambadoro, 22. Mthembu, 27. Nyongo, 16. Manzini, 8. Ncobeni, 32. Lumkwana, 23. Karuru.
Sundowns: 31. Brimah, 4. Langerman, 27. Morena, 6. Arendse, 16. Nascimento, 13. Mabunda, 11. Vilakazi, 8. Kekana, 26. Sirino, 18. Zwane, 22. Tau.
Subs: 1. Mweene, 32. Madisha, 20. Ncgongca, 17. Lebese, 38. Zulu, 19. Brockie, 7. Manyisa.