Sundowns pour more misery on Chiefs


The outgoing league champions are now in a good position to go on and claim a place in the top half of the table after Josta Dladla's 21st-minute goal secured a narrow victory over Amakhosi. The Brazilians could have added to their score but they spurned several good scoring chances.

Sundowns dominated the opening exchanges and Lerato Chabangu almost opened the scoring in the 14th minute, latching onto a defensive error from Onismor Bhasera before forcing goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune into a good low save at his near post.

Chiefs created a fine scoring opportunity three minutes later when Shaun Bartlett got away from marker Benson Mhlongo and headed on goal from Siphiwe Tshabalala's corner kick, but Brian Baloyi reacted well to keep the effort out.

The hosts took the lead in the 21st minute after some brave play by Dladla. The winger picked up a neat lay-off from Jorge Acuna and saw his initial effort half blocked by defender Mokete Tsotetsi before beating Khune to the loose ball and lobbing it into the back of the net.

Dladla almost set up Surprise Moriri for a similar goal five minutes later with a clever chip over the top of Chiefs' static defenders, but this time Khune did enough to deny the Brazilians.

In injury time at the end of the first half David Mathebula's free-kick almost set up Mabhuti Khenyeza for an equaliser, but the striker saw his diving header go narrowly wide of goal. The hosts deservedly went into half-time 1-0 up after having the better of the game.

A surging run from left-back Shere Lekgothoane early in the second half almost saw Sundowns double their lead but the defender's powerful cross was just a touch too quick for Moriri's run to the far post.

In the 51st minute Moriri beat Tsotetsi to Chabangu's curling free kick but the attacker could only direct his header over the crossbar, and barely 60 seconds later Khune produced a superb save to keep out Bryan Aldave's headed effort, as Sundowns sought a second goal to kill off the game.

A superb cross from Jimmy Tau almost brought Chiefs level on the hour mark but Mhlongo, with Bartlett breathing down his neck, did well to direct the ball out for a corner and avoid scoring an own goal.

In the 66th minute Acuna made a fine run from deep in midfield to beat Khune to Moriri's clever ball over the top but the Chilean was not as successful at lobbing the ball over the goalkeeper as Dladla had been in the first half. Two minutes later Aldave sprinted free of the Chiefs defence but his weak effort was easily saved by Khune.

Sundowns easily held out in the remaining minutes, with central midfielders Esrom Nyandoro and Acuna doing well to break down any attacks Amakhosi tried to muster.

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