Downs Crowned Absa Prem Champs For Eighth Time
Absa Premiership Report: Mamelodi Sundowns v Ajax Cape Town 28 April 2018
Result: Mamelodi Sundowns 3-1 Ajax Cape Town
Date: 26 April 2018
Venue: Lucas Moripe Stadium
Mamelodi Sundowns were crowned Absa Premiership champions for the eighth time after defeating Ajax Cape Town 3-1 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.
The Brazilians headed into the encounter knowing that three points will secure the league title, regardless of Orlando Pirates' result against Cape Town City, where the Buccaneers ended up losing anyway, going down 1-0 at the Cape Town Stadium.
The Urban Warriors, meanwhile, were looking to get maximum points as they hope to move away from the relegation playoff spot.
It was the visitors who got off the perfect start as an unmarked Mosa Lebusa slotted home from close range after Sundowns failed to deal with a corner after just two minutes of play.
Downs were level in the 12th minute, though, as Percy Tau raced to the byline before sending a cross to the far post, where Khama Billiat was on hand to turn home.
In the 22nd minute, Ajax nearly restored their lead through Yannick Zakri, who rattled the woodwork with a scorching effort from distance.
Sundowns were then awarded a penalty after 26 minutes when Billiat was brought down by Jody February. Ricardo Nascimento stepped up and converted the spot-kick to put his side in the lead, despite the keeper getting a glove to it.
The Urban Warriors showed the desire to get back into the game, but they were let down by their decision-making, and Sundowns again pounced as Sibusiso Vilakazi was played through before rounding his man and slotting into the back of the net.
Ajax came out firing the in the second half and looked to reduce the deficit, but Sundowns remained solid at the back.
Pitso Mosimane's men nearly bagged a fourth goal on 59 minutes but goalkeeper Jody February produced a fine save to deny Billiat from point-blank range.
With 15 minutes remaining in the half, Pitso Mosimane withdrew Vilakazi for Oupa Manyisa as they looked to see out the rest of the game.
Downs continued to push for more goal as the half went but they were let down by some sloppy passes in the final third.
In the end, Sundowns managed to see out the closing stages with relative ease to claim the win that crowns them league winners for the eighth time.
Here's how they lined up:
Sundowns: 14. Onyango, 4 Langerman, 27. Morena, 32. Madisha, 16. Nascimento, 13. Mabunda, 33. Billiat, 11. Vilakazi, 8. Kekana, 18. Zwane, 22. Tau.
Subs: 1. Mweene, 5. Mbekile, 7. Manyisa, 29. Soumahoro, 28. Zulu, 19. Brockie, 28. Laffor.
Ajax: 22. February, 25. Kammies, 30. Booysen, 5. Lebusa, 13. Nhlapo, 16. Kabwe, 6. Nel, 8. Margeman, 44. Zakri, 10. Losper, 41. Lakay.
Subs: 1. Petersen, 3. Pietersen, 29. Malepe, 22. Sasman, Takwara, 11. Morris, 42. Julies.