Sundowns squeeze past Swallows

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PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 03: Cassius Mailula of Mamelodi Sundowns and Yagan Sasman of Swallows FC during the DStv Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Swallows FC at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on January 03, 2023 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 03: Cassius Mailula of Mamelodi Sundowns and Yagan Sasman of Swallows FC during the DStv Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Swallows FC at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on January 03, 2023 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Mamelodi Sundowns extended their winning run to eight games in the DStv Premiership with a 2-0 victory over Swallows FC on Tuesday evening.

Abubeker Nasir’s injury allowed Cassius Mailula to step in following his goal against Orlando Pirates while Sifiso Ngobeni replaced Thapelo Morena.

Very little set the league leaders and the Dube Birds apart minutes from the start, as Ernst Middendorp's charges fought and looked to match the host on all fronts.

Swallows worked the first real chance before 20 minutes after Kwanda Mngonyama’s diving header forced Sundowns goalkeeper Ronwen Williams to parry out for a corner.

Masandawana struggled to find an opening after the half-hour mark and entries by Themba Zwane and Neo Maema didn’t penetrate the low defensive block of the Dube Birds nor picked out Mailula.

It was a slow start to the second period as the visitors looked to maintain their momentum and introduced Waseem Isaacs for Kagiso Malinga.

However, Sundowns remained calm in the middle of the second period and hit the front after Maema brought a teasing ball from out wide under control and riffled in the top corner.

This awoke the champions and it was two minutes later as Zwane brought Mailula’s loose pass in his stride off a flowing passing move and thumped beyond Thakasani Mbanjwa.

Swallows threatened to pull one back with 12 minutes to play when a powering header by Isaacs in the box cracked the woodwork and had Williams beaten.

The Brazilians did have a few openings in the closing stages with shots from Aubrey Modiba and Gift Motupa, but neither profited and 2-0 it finished to Sundowns

Confirmed line-ups:

Mamelodi Sundowns: Williams, Mudau, Ngobeni, Mvala, Kekana, Mokoena, Allende, Maema, Zwane, Sirino, Mailula

Subs:  D.Onyango, De Reuck, Kapinga, Jali, Mkhulise, Domingo, Motupa, Modiba, Mbule

Swallows: Mbanjwa, Lukhubeni, Sait, Sasman, Zulu, Allan Mngonyama, Damons, Matsheke, Malinga, Wambi.

Subs: Tshabalala, Shwabule, Makaringe, Sibiya, Mtshali, Musonda, Makua, Isaacs, Ngwenya

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