Three Thunderbolts Send Sundowns Four Points Clear
Absa Premiership Report: Mamelodi Sundowns v Platinum Stars 20 January 2018
Result: Mamelodi Sundowns 3-0 Platinum Stars
Date: 20 January 2018
Venue: Loftus Versfeld
Three long-range stunners — two from Khama Billiat and one from Sibusiso Vilakazi — saw Mamelodi Sundowns to a 3-0 win over Platinum Stars, moving them four points clear at the top of the log
The game got off to a slow start, with not much action at either end. Dino Visser made the first noteworthy save in the 12th minute, pushing Percy Tau’s sweet strike wide of the far post. However, the offside flag went up anyway in what was a controversial call.
Downs began to pile pressure on the Dikwena defence — and in the 22nd minute, it paid off. Vilakazi was left with room to shoot just outside the box and he made the most of it, putting a perfectly-placed shot into the top corner.
10 minutes later, another stunner from similar range saw Masandawana double their lead. This one came from Billiat, whose perfectly-placed free-kick went in off the inside of the post with Visser rooted to the spot.
In the 37th minute, Billiat struck again from a free-kick — this one a few yards further out. Visser was able to get a hand to his shot this time, but the ball went in off the crossbar.
Roger de Sá made an early substitution in the 44th minute, bringing on Robert Ng’ambi for Sibongakonke Mbatha.
Ahead of the start of the second half, he made his second change, as Bongi Ntuli came on for Enocent Mkhabela.
However, Sundowns continued to dominate the game. They could have arguably have had a penalty in the 10th minute of the half, when Tebogo Langerman went down after a tangle with Vuyo Mere in the area, but nothing was given.
In the 63rd minute, Billiat became the first Sundowns player to make way, with Aubrey Ngoma coming on in his place. Another new man was introduced into the game in the 72nd minute, with Gastón Sirino replacing Vilakazi.
Sundowns should have scored their fourth goal two minutes afterwards, but Themba Zwane fired over the bar from close range after having been set up by a clever Tau pass.
A further seven minutes later, Zwane made way for Jeremy Brockie to make his Sundowns debut. Ryan de Jongh came on shortly afterwards in place of Manti Mekoa.
Bar a fine save from a long range shot in the 88th minute, Denis Onyango had very little to do all game. Sundowns cruised to a comfortable victory in a contest which at times looked like men against boys.
Here's how they lined up:
Sundowns: 14. Onyango, 4. Langerman, 32. Madisha, 16. Nascimento, 29. Soumahoro, 7. Manyisa, 33. Billiat (Ngoma, 63’), 13. Mabunda, 11. Vilakazi (Sirino, 72’), 18. T.Zwane (Brockie, 81’), 22. Tau.
Stars: Visser, Mere, Mthethwa, Sithole, Mpeta, Mekoa (de Jongh, 83’), Mbatha (Ng’ambi, 44’), Msomi, Mkhabela (Ntuli, 46’), Rambuwane, Koapeng.