Mamelodi Sundowns moved to the top of the DStv Premiership log with a 2-0 win over fellow heavyweights Kaizer Chiefs at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Sunday evening.
The match saw the Brazilians give a demonstration of ruthlessness, as they capitalised on their scoring chances to take a deserved victory in what was otherwise an evenly-matched contest. As for the Amakhosi, they created enough opportunities to have attained a completely different result, but will reflect on a lack of efficiency in the final third.
Chiefs had the first notable scoring chance, with Samir Nurkovic’s cross from the left cushioned by Njabulo Blom into the path of Keagan Dolly, who volleyed just over the target in the sixth minute.
Two minutes later, Sundowns claimed the lead, with Grant Kekana scoring his first goal for the club with a header at the far post, nodding home Lyle Lakay’s free-kick delivery out wide on the right.
The visitors looked for a response and prised open the ‘Downs defence a couple of times, only for Nurkovic’s header to be saved by Denis Onyango on 15 minutes, before Dolly’s run and shot flashed narrowly wide at the midway point of the first half.
Dolly was a thorn in the side of his former team and should have been credited with an assist in the 28th minute, after his cross was missed by Onyango, only for Nurkovic to head off target with the goal gaping.
That was the last major chance of the opening 45 minutes, leaving the score 1-0 in favour of Downs heading into the break.
Chiefs came close to an equaliser just before the hour mark when a Khama Billiat free-kick was flicked on to find Sifiso Hlanti at the back post, but his header was superbly saved by Onyango.
With the Amakhosi seeming to have the momentum on their side, the Brazilians then showed off their ruthlessness with a goal from their first serious attack after the break.
Themba Zwane put substitute Neo Maema into space on the left and the former Bloemfontein Celtic player whipped in a fine cross from the by-line to pick out the run of Peter Shalulile, who finished with ease from close range for 2-0 in the 63rd minute.
Chiefs were gifted a possible way back into the game with 10 minutes to play when Rivaldo Coetzee handled Cole Alexander’s cross to concede a penalty, but substitute Lebogang Manyama hit the woodwork with the spot-kick, summing up a Chiefs performance in which they matched the champions in all aspects – except the most decisive one, finishing.
The teams will be back in DStv Premiership action next weekend, with Chiefs at home to Royal AM on Saturday 18 September and Sundowns hosting TS Galaxy the following day.
Mamelodi Sundowns (1) 2 (Kekana 8’, Shalulile 63’)
Kaizer Chiefs 0
Sundowns: Onyango, Morena De Reuck, Kekana, Lakay, Coetzee, Jali, Zwane (Safranko 68’), Sirino (Kutumela 58’), Erasmus (Maema 58’), Shalulile (Domingo 84’)
Chiefs: Bvuma, Cardoso, Mathoho, Dube (Mabaliso 68’), Blom, Alexander, Nange, Hlanti (Manyama 74’), Dolly, Billiat, Nurkovic
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