Mailula & Domingo fire Downs 10 points clear

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DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 06: Haashim Domingo of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates scoring during the DStv Premiership match between Richards Bay and Mamelodi Sundowns at King Zwelithini Stadium on January 06, 2023 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 06: Haashim Domingo of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates scoring during the DStv Premiership match between Richards Bay and Mamelodi Sundowns at King Zwelithini Stadium on January 06, 2023 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)

Mamelodi Sundowns secured their ninth straight win in the DStv Premiership after defeating Richards Bay FC 2-0 on Friday night.

Aubrey Modiba and Haashim Domingo were brought back by Sundowns, but Richards Bay were without Siyanda Msani, who could not feature against his parent club.

Sundowns could’ve taken the lead on seven minutes where a back-heel from Cassius Mailula played in Themba Zwane from a tight angle, but the skipper struck the upright.

Zwane was set through again minutes later as he went clear from a through pass to go level with Salim Magoola, but the Richards Bay goalkeeper smothered attacker.

The Natal Rich Boyz began to push the Brazilians back in their own half and provided chances of their own though were unable to trouble the visitors.

As more chances followed, the champions went ahead eight minutes to halftime after Mailula latched onto a ball over the top and lobbed the advancing Magoola. 

The Natal Rich Boyz made two introductions before the resumption for the second half, with Memela coming in for Siphamandla Mtolo while Yamela Mbuthuma replaced Sakhile Hlongwa.

It’s a move that nearly reaped dividends as the substitutes combined when Memela’s teasing ball saw Mbuthuma charge and launched, but Ronwen Williams was well alert.

Williams was tested again right on 60 minutes as the Bafana Bafana captain pulled across the near post goal and steered Memela’s rasping shot following a low cross into touch.

Sundowns calmed matters seven minutes later when Domingo reacted quickest to a spill by Magoola from Marcelo Allende’s rasping shot in the area and stabbed over the line.

The Natal Rich Boyz very nearly clawed their way back minutes afterwards with a snap-shot by Sanele Barns from a through pass, but Williams again smothered.

Masandawana were pinned back in the closing seconds and strong challenges in the area by Mothobi Mvala was needed to keep the host at bay and secured a 2-0 win in the end.

Confirmed line-ups:

Richards Bay: Magoola, Maphathe, Mabua, Mthethwa, Nyauza, Barns, Mtolo, Mathebula, Zungu, Hlongwa, Ntsundwana.

Subs: Jacobs, Dlamini, Makateng, Mthembu, Majadibodu, Memela, Mbuthuma, Mabuya, Ochieng.

Mamelodi Sundowns: Williams, Mudau, Modiba, Kekana, Mvala, Mokoena, Allende, Maema, Zwane, Mailula, Domingo.

Subs: Onyango, Ngobeni, De Reuck, Jali, Mkhulise, Mbule, Sirino, Motupa, Kapinga.

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