Sundowns edge Free State Stars to go top

2013-11-06 21:51

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Second-half replacement Surprise Moriri scored four minutes from time as Mamelodi Sundowns edged Free State Stars 2-1 in their Premiership clash at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

Moriri, who replaced Hlompho Kekana in the 83rd minute, scored three minutes later, after Stars had drawn level shortly after half-time.

Cuthbert Malajila opened the scoring 27 minutes into the clash for Sundowns, before Camaldine Abraw cancelled the advantage.

Moriri, however, had the last word, securing a victory which lifts Sundowns two points clear at the summit of the league standings.

A quiet opening 20 minutes left both sides looking for ways to unlock the opposition defence, as the teams sat back and felt each other out.

Malajila spurned two promising opportunities for Sundowns, while Stars' half-hearted ventures into the Sundowns half went largely unnoticed.

He was on target the third time, heading home Dove Wome's curling corner delivery, as the Brazilians battered their way into the lead and controlled the rest of the half.

Danny Venter and Wome traded blows soon after the break, but Stars looked the brighter side and soon had Sundowns on the back foot when Mongezi Bobe broke away.

Bobe timed his run to perfection and delivered a dangerous centred ball into the area, finding Abraw at the near post, before the Togolese striker slotted home to level the scores just seven minutes into the second period.

Having equalised, Stars kept up the pressure and not long after the goal, Luyolo Nomandela's curling effort forced Sundowns goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene into making a good save.

Stars dominated as the game drew to a close, but an inspired substitution from Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane sealed the victory, as Moriri kept his cool and nudged home the winner with less than five minutes to play.

The result means Sundowns go top of the Absa Premiership table as Moroka Swallows suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Golden Arrows.

In other results, Polokwane City and AmaZulu shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw, while Bidvest Wits beat University of Pretoria 1-0.

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