Downs open league gap as Amakhosi go down

2010-12-12 16:10

The Brazilians stretched their Absa Premiership lead with an emphatic away win last night.

And with Kaizer Chiefs breathing heavily down their necks, ­Bafana Ba’style knew that ­defeat was not an option and, like most champions the world over, they took their fate into their hands.

On the other hand, Amakhosi suffered a setback as a combination of shrewd planning by Free State Stars coach Steve Komphela and a 10th-minute blunder by Itumeleng Khune saw them slump to a 1-0 away defeat.

Downs showed character by turning a 1-0 deficit into a two-goal advantage triumph.

Bryce Moon made a comeback like the bright sunshine of a South African summer when he sent in a scorcher that beat Wayne Sandilands hands down to give the home side a lead in the 10th minute.

However, strikes by Lebohang Mokoena in the 20th and 40th minutes as well as a Mabhudi Khenyeza goal in the dying minute of the fixture against his former club gave the visitors an emphatic victory.

Fans who braved the wet weather and poured into Chatsworth Stadium got their money’s worth.

As if the soccer gods were conspiring against Abafana Bes’thende, defender Joseph Musonda got marching orders in the 77th minute after an unwarranted clumsy and dangerous tackle on Thapelo Tshilo.

This further blunted Arrows, who already had their backs to the wall.

At Botshabelo Stadium, Chiefs continued to blow hot and cold as they succumbed to a single-goal defeat by Stars.

Khune dropped an innocuous long-range shot and Boitumelo Segobela was on hand to easily tap home from the rebound.

Try as they did, Chiefs could not beat Zambia’s Number One goalkeeper, Kennedy Mweene, who stood like the Rock of Gibraltar between the sticks.

Knowledge Musona, who has proved lethal in front of goal and threatened this week that his best was still to come, fired blanks the whole day. He shot wide on no less than three occasions with the keeper to beat.

Mandla Masango also added to coach Vladimir Vermezovic’s woes when he shot straight at the shot-stopper with goal at his mercy.

At the end of the day, Komphela’s strategy of ­letting his players sit back and absorb pressure, only to launch counter-attacks when Chiefs lost possession, paid dividends.

Arrows came into the game placed third and their defeat means that Sundowns achieved a two-pronged feat by widening the gap between them and two of their ­nearest challengers.

»?Other Absa Premiership results:
Bidvest Wits vs AmaZulu (postponed to 3.30pm today due to bad weather last night); Platinum Stars 2, SuperSport United 0; Santos 1, Moroka Swallows 1

»?Barclays Premiership results:
Aston Villa 2, West Bromwich Albion 1;
Everton 0, Wigan Athletic 0; Fulham 0, Sunderland 0; Stoke City 0, Blackpool 1; West Ham United 1, Manchester City 3; Newcastle 3, Liverpool 1

»?Tomorrow’s fixture: Manchester United vs Arsenal, Old Trafford, 8pm.


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