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Sundowns Edge Bucs To Make It 15 Wins In A Row

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JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 04: Themba Zwane,Teboho Mokoena of Mamelodi Sundowns  celebrates during the DStv Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns at Orlando Stadium on February 04, 2023 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 04: Themba Zwane,Teboho Mokoena of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates during the DStv Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns at Orlando Stadium on February 04, 2023 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

DStv Premiership leaders Mamelodi Sundowns made it 15 successive wins in the DStv Premiership after defeating Orlando Pirates 1-0 on Saturday afternoon.

DStv Premiership

Result: Orlando Pirates 0-1 Mamelodi Sundowns

Date: 04 February 2024

Venue: Orlando Stadium

Pirates made four changes from their win over Marumo Gallants, as Kermit Erasmus, Miguel Timm, Innocent Maela and Goodman Mosele were all recalled.

Sundowns, on the other hand, made wholesale changes, as likes of goalkeeper Ronwen Williams, Teboho Mokoena, Themba Zwane and Cassius Mailula returned to the fold.

The Brazilians had the perfect start as Mailula fired them ahead within six minutes with a clinical low strike across goal after a through ball by Zwane.

Jose Riveiro's charges picked themselves up as they threatened with crosses in the area, with Mosele going close to finding the equaliser on 25 minutes with a header at the near post that sailed slightly over the crossbar.

The latter phase of the first stanza could not get going as stoppages interrupted the flow of the game but Pirates still had the momentum, although they were unable to break down Sundowns, who were happy to absorb the pressure and took a narrow lead to the break.

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The Buccaneers were continued to pressurize their visitors coming from the interval and after Tapelo Xoki missed a golden chance from a free header, Riveiro made attacking changes as Vincent Pule and Kabelo Dlamini came on.

The changes made an immediate impact for Pirates, as Pule came close to snatching the equaliser on the hour-mark with a low strike in the box that came off the base of the post.

Sundowns waited for their moments on counter-attacks and with 25 minutes to go, the visitors made a double tactical change, as Aubrey Modiba and Sipho Mbule were introduced in a change of approach.

Rulani Mokwena's charges started to have chances on transitions and Mailula had an opportunity to wrap up the game in the last seven minutes after a through ball in the box but his shot was smothered by shot-stopper Sipho Chaine.

Pirates had the momentum in the dying minutes but the Brazilians crowded their box and shut the Buccaneers out to stretch their winning run to 15 matches at the top of the table.

Here's how they lined up:

Orlando Pirates: 34. Chaine, 27. Xoki, 5. Sibisi, 23. Maela, 16. Monare, 4. Timm, 26. Shandu, 7. Hotto, 20. Mosele, 14. Saleng, 95. Erasmus

Subs: 40. Mpontshane, 30. Martin, 29. Mako, 39. Mthethwa, 18. Dlamini, 45. Pule, 15. Ndlondlo, 27. Dzvukamanja, 50. Mabena

Mamelodi Sundowns:  32. Williams, 27. Mudau, 34. Mvala, 20. Kekana, 4. Mokoena, 35. Maema, 18. Zwane, 21. Mkhulise, 38. Shalulile, 33. Mailula.

Subs: 14. D.Onyango, 37. Ngobeni, 15. Jali, 29. Ralani, 8. Zungu, 24. Mbule, 6. B.Onyango, 17. Modiba, 45. Karelse

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