Mamelodi Sundowns opened a ten-point lead at the top of the DStv Premiership table with a 2-0 win over Richards Bay FC on Friday evening.
Result: Richards Bay FC 0-2 Mamelodi Sundowns
Date: 06 January 2023
Venue: King Goodwill Zwelithini Stadium
Sundowns made two changes to the side that beat Swallows, as Aubrey Modiba was recalled and Haashim Domingo returned from an ankle injury. Richards Bay, meanwhile, could not field Siyanda Msani against his parent club.
The Brazilians had a bright start as Themba Zwane came close to giving them the lead in the opening exchanges with a shot at the near post that came off the outside of the post after linking up with Mailula.
Rulani Mokwena's charges continued to look for openings against a deep lying defence from the home side and on 19 minutes Zwane beat the offside trap to go clear on goal, but his shot was thwarted from point-blank range by goalkeeper Jamal Magoola.
The Natal Rich Boyz opened the game up by advancing forward but were left exposed at the back as Mailula eventually broke the deadlock for the Brazilians six minutes before the interval with a first-time volley over Magoola after a chip over the top by Modiba
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The home side started to create chances immediately thereafter and Memela came very close to grabbing the equaliser on the hour-mark after he received a diagonal pass with a late run on the blind side but his low shot was saved by shot-stopper Ronwen Williams with his feet in a one-on-one.
Richards Bay could not gain momentum, however, as an error by Magoola six minutes later led to Sundowns closing-in on a counter-attack and Domingo doubled the visitors' lead with a tap-in after the Ugandan parried Marcelo Allende's shot across goal.
Masandawana drew the Natal Rich Boyz out of their own half and looked to exploit the spaces behind and Maela almost made it 3-0 six minutes before time after he went through on goal but his snap half-volley was parried away by Magoola.
Sundowns absorbed the pressure in the dying minutes as they introduced the likes of Sipho Mbule, Sphelele Mkhulise and Gaston Sirino for fresh legs and held on to stretch their lead at the top of the standings to ten points and clinched their ninth consecutive win.
Richards Bay: 80. Magoola, 2. Maphathe, 35. Mabua, 5. Mthethwa, 34. Nyauza, 30. Barns, 4. Mtolo, 12. Mathebula, 50. Zungu, 15. Hlongwa, 45. Ntsundwana.
Subs: 16. Jacobs, 38. Dlamini, 27. Makateng, 20. Mthembu, 14. Majadibodu, 10. Memela, 9. Mbuthuma, 22. Mabuya, 77. Ochieng.
Mamelodi Sundown: 32. Williams, 25. Mudau, 17. Modiba, 20. Kekana, 34. Mvala, 4. Mokoena, 11. Allende, 35. Maema, 18. Zwane, 33. Mailula, 23. Domingo.
Subs: 14. Onyango, 37. Ngobeni, 28. De Reuck, 15. Jali, 21. Mkhulise, 24. Mbule, 24. Sirino, 19. Motupa, 22. Kapinga.
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