Peter Shalulile and Cassius Mailula were among the goals as DStv Premiership leaders Mamelodi Sundowns defeated Sekhukhune United on Saturday afternoon.
Result: Mamelodi Sundowns 2-0 Sekhukhune United
Date: 28 January 2023
Venue: Loftus Versfeld Stadium
Sundowns made three changes to the side that edged TS Galaxy, as Brian Onyango, Mosa Lebusa and Neo Maema were all recalled in places of Grant Kekana, Rushine De Reuck, both ruled out with injuries and Themba Zwane, who was not in the squad.
The Brazilians took time to get going and once they found their rhythm, they nearly went ahead on 11 minutes after Maema unleashed a low volley that forced goalkeeper Badra Ali Sangare into an out-stretched save.
Sekhukhune remained compact at the back and did not allow Sundowns spaces to have free flowing game in the centre but the visitors should have been ahead on the half-hour mark after Peter Shalulile was unable connect well with a cut-back from Sifiso Ngobeni and only scuffed his shot into the hands of Sangare.
The game opened up after that, as Brandon Truter's charges were eager to get forward and Thapelo Morena should have also done better just before the interval after latching onto a cross unmarked at the back post but side-footed his volley straight at Sangare.
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Sundowns continued to be on the front foot after the halftime break, which Shalulile break the deadlock six minutes in with a deft touch that deflected Gaston Sirino's shot past Sangare for his ninth league goal of the campaign.
With the pace of the game slowing down, Rulani Mokwena rang the changes to refresh the team as the likes of Marcelo Allende, Bradley Ralani and Bongani Zungu were given a run.
But Babina Noko were still fired up as Elias Mokwana almost pulled them level on the hour-mark after attacking a cross at the back post but shot-stopper Denis Onyango showed great reflexes to keep his first-time shot out.
Sekhukhune were more on the ball as they looked to get back into the game, but Sundowns were forced to play the last 16 minutes with ten men after Allende had a yellow card belatedly upgraded to red for a dangerous tackle on Victor Letsoalo.
However, the sending off did not affect the Brazilians, as substitute Cassius Mailula doubled the lead six minutes later with a sweeping finish at the near post from a low cross by Morena, taking his tally to six league goal.
Masandawana have now taken their winning run to 14 matches and pulled 22 points clear at the top, while Sekhukhune's four-game winning run comes to an end.
Here's how they lined up:
Mamelodi Sundowns: 14. Onyango, 27. Morena, 37. Ngobeni, 5. Lebusa, 6. B.Onyango, 15. Jali, 35. Maema, 24. Mbule, 38. Shalulile, 10. Sirino.
Subs: 1. Mweene, 11. Allende, 29. Ralani, 8. Zungu, 34. Mvala, 33. Mailula, 22. Kapinga, 45. Karelse, 36. Mohamme.
Sekhukhune United: 30. Badra, 2. Mobbie, 4. Cardoso, 39. Gyimah, 36. Ntiya-Ntiya, 8. Leepile, 6. Mashikinya, 15. Kabwe, 7. Mncube, 21. Letsoalo, 34. Ohizu
Subs: 1. Nsabata, 27. Mkhabela, 43. Zulu, 29. Tshibwabwa, 10. Shai, 17. Mokwana, 5. Madonsela, 35. Mahlangu, 14. Makhubu
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