Sundowns’ title hopes boosted

2011-05-02 00:00

MAMELODI Sundowns lifted themselves to third place on the table and gave their Absa Premiership title hopes a huge boost with a 2-0 win over Kaizer Chiefs at the Loftus Stadium yesterday afternoon.

Goals from Nyasha Mushekwi and Elias Pelembe secured the victory for the Brazilians, which sees them five points adrift of leaders Ajax Cape Town with a game in hand.

The Amakhosi are six points back from the top and there are just two rounds of the league season remaining.

The match started at a furious pace, with end-to-end attacks the order of the opening minutes.

Chiefs certainly created the better chances in the first half; three times they broke the Sundowns offside trap, but they were unable to capitalise on the opportunities.

Mandla Masango had two of the chances, first being brilliantly challenged by makeshift right-back Siyabonga Ngubane, while on the second occasion he curled his shot wide of the far post.

Josta Dladla also went one-on-one with Waynde Sandilands after a brilliant pass from Mthokozisi Yende, but was denied by the goalkeeper.

Just past the half-hour mark Sundowns broke the deadlock. Chiefs were unable to clear their lines after repeated attempts on goal from Teko Modise and Katlego Mphela.

Eventually Mphela guided the ball away from traffic in the middle of the box towards Nyasha Mushekwi, who took advantage of uncharacteristically poor positioning from Itumeleng Khune to score with a left-footed shot.

Just seven minutes into the second stanza, the Brazilians doubled their lead. Mphela was again the architect, providing a looping cross from the right of the penalty area that allowed Elias Pelembe to crash home an unstoppable volley.

Chiefs reacted by using all three substitutions within 11 minutes of going 2-0 down and they proceeded to dominate the remainder of the game.

However, they were unable to find a way past man of the match Sandilands, who made several excellent saves.

Sundowns could have even added to the score line through Mphela, who found himself one-on-one with Khune, but his chipped finish drifted just wide of the post.

On Saturday, Moroka Swallows managed to intensify their hopes of avoiding playing in the relegation/promotion play-offs come the end of the season as the Birds registered a hard fought 3-1 victory over Free State Stars at Goble Park.

The 64-year-old club came into the clash fully aware that a win against Steve Khompela’s charges would be their only hope of salvation and their hard work and determination paid dividends.

The result means Swallows will go into their next league match against Bidvest Wits this weekend at Dobsonville Stadium with their confidence high.

Santos claimed a thrilling 4-3 victory over Golden Arrows at Chatsworth Stadium on Saturday night, ending a lengthy winless streak in the league.

Tyren Arendse scored the decisive goal in the second half after strikes from Collins Mbesuma, Mxolisi Machupu, Philani Shange (for Arrows), Salmaan King and Erwin Isaacs (for Santos) had left the game at 3-3.

The home side got off to a flying start with two quick goals in the first ten minutes of play.

On Saturday evening an entralling game at the Athlone Stadium saw the lead changing hands countless times before Platinum Stars secured a thrilling 5-3 win over Vasco da Gama.

The first half was a breath-taking six-goal affair.

The home team were off to a good start, getting on the score-sheet after just five minutes when Keenin Lesch headed home from Aidan Jenniker’s in-swinging corner kick.

However, Stars hit back in emphatic style, scoring twice in two minutes — first Phelelani Mpangase stormed into the box to net from Thuso Phala’s free kick, and then Solomon Mathe also profited from a Phala delivery as he turned in a corner kick.

There were half chances at both ends before the next goal arrived, with the game an entertaining affair.

It was the home team who were to score — Sibusiso Zuma crashing home a 30th-minute corner kick.

Ten minutes later the former Bafana international made it 3-2 when he headed in a cross from lively winger Jonarthan Armogam.

However, Stars were not about to give up the ghost and restored parity just before the half time break, thanks to a rare goal for George Mofokeng, the assist coming from Phala yet again.

The second half saw the game tightening up somewhat as chances on goal were minimised.

Vasco da Gama suffered a set-back in the 65th minute when they were reduced to 10 men after Lesch was sent off for a hand ball — his second bookable offence.

Stars went 4-3 up in the 77th minute when Mduduzi Nyanda provided Bradley Grobler with a ball across the goalmouth, the Stars striker happily obliging from close range.

Grobler added his second eight minutes later as he fired in a free kick to seal the win and put Stars clear of the relegation zone, while Vasco sink to 14th place.

 

PSL results this weekend:

Yesterday:

Black Aces 1 Maritzburg United 2

Mamelodi Sundowns 2 Kaizer Chiefs 0

Saturday: Wits 1 Bloem Celtic 4

FS Stars 1 Morokka Swallows 3

Golden Arrows 3 Santos 4

Vasco 3 Platinum Stars 5

Orlando Pirates 0 SuperSport united 1

Friday: Ajax Cape Town 2 Amazulu 1.

 

 

 

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