Result: Mamelodi Sundowns (Brockie 11', Sirino 23' 26') 3-1 Free State Stars (Tchilimbou 36')
Date: 06 November 2018
Venue: Loftus Versfeld Stadium
Jeremy Brockie ended his goal drought for Mamelodi Sundowns as the Absa Premiership champions defeated Free State Stars 3-1 on Wednesday evening.
Stars came out to play and Judas Moseamedi got the first effort away after finding space on the side to shot narrowly off target in the earlier minutes.
Still without a home win this season, Sundowns opened it up when Jeremy Brockie was left in an unmarked situation after evading two players to go off target minutes later.
The New Zealander made no mistake after 11 minutes when he fired in a first-time volley after a bad defensive clearance from Patrick Phungwayo.
Returning to the line-up after a lengthy absence, Aubrey Ngoma made his presence count when earning a penalty after a challenge by Bangaly Keita.
Gaston Sirino made it count for his second league goal despite Badra Ali Sangare’s half-hearted efforts to keep it from finding the far corner on 25 minutes.
The Uruguayan completed his double after making a diagonal run when regaining possession to find the far corner, beyond the reach of Sangare after two minutes.
Out of nowhere, Ea Lla Koto pulled a goal back when Harris Tchilimbou tapped in at the near post after a cut back from the byline by Moseamedi after 36 minutes.
After a disjointed period, Luc Eymael introduced a change off the bench and introduced Maboke Matlakala for Cesair Gandze just before the break.
With halftime dawning, Lyle Lakay found himself inside the box after combining with Ngoma before forcing a finger-tip reflex from Sangare.
In the second half, Sangare showed fast reflexes to firstly deny Brockie from point-blank range and the follow-up attempt by Ngoma in the space of seconds.
Stars introduced their second change of the evening with former Cape Town City man Sibusiso Masina as a way to orchestrate their come back.
The Bethlehem side nearly pushed for a second with a high ball into the box nearly catching Reyaad Pieterse off guard but the latter saved comfortably.
Pitso Mosimane introduced his first change after Tiyani Mabunda came on for the effective Ngoma at the midway point.
Brockie wasted another golden chance when he shot straight at Sangare after a good pass from Sirino.
Towards the end, Downs continued searching for their fourth and a shot from the side by Mosa Lebusa rattled the side-netting, followed by another save from Sangare off a strike from Andile Jali.
Stars were brought a man down after Nyiko Mobbie received his second yellow for a rash challenge on Phakamani Mahlambi in added time.
However, the damage had already been done and third spot was already sealed thanks to a master class from a certain Uruguayan.
Here's how they lined up:
Sundowns: 31. Pieterse, 27. Morena, 32. Madisha, 2. Lebusa, 23. Lakay, 5. Jali, 8. Kekana, 30. Maboe, 11. Ngoma (Mabunda 61'), 26. Sirino (Mahlambi 89'), 22. Brockie (Meza 79').
Subs: 1. Mweene, 13. Mabunda, 20. Ngongca, 7. Meza, 6. Arendse, 34. Mahlambi, 18. Zwane.
Stars: 23. Sangare, 2. Mobbie, 4. Makhaula, 28. Mahamutsa, 21. Phungwayo, 8. Gandze (Matlakala 39'), 22. Keita, 26. Dlamini, 11. Jantjie (Masina 67'), 27. Tchilimbou, 6. Moseamedi (Jappie 74').
Subs: 30. Mbambo, 12. Matlakala, 13. Masina, 17. Tema, 19. Jappie, 20. Mbhele, 25. Maruping.