Sundowns celebrate first title in seven years

By Drum Digital
07 May 2014

Mamelodi Sundowns ended a six year wait for silverware as they were crowned Premiership winners at Loftus Versfeld on Tuesday evening, edging fierce rivals SuperSport United 3-0 in Pretoria.

Needing three points to secure their crown, Surprise Moriri netted in the 49th minute, before Teko Modise added the crushing blow 13 minutes later, putting the final touches on a remarkable season for the Brazilians, lifting their first league title in seven years.

Second half replacement Cuthbert Malajila then rubbed salt in the wounds and got in on the action as he finished United off in the 74th minute and put the result not only beyond doubt, but totally overwhelming their neighbours who simply had no answers.

Following back-to-back league titles in 2006 and 2007, Sundowns suffered a major slump in subsequent years and fell by the wayside, managing a single trophy -- the Nedbank Cup in 2008 -- since Neil Tovey and Gordon Igesund guided the Brazilians to league success.

SuperSport were looking to rain on Sundowns' party and applied early pressure on the hosts, who have been solid at home this season, having claimed 32 out of a possible 42 at Loftus.

Sundowns looked nervous on attack and had to deal with a few jitters as Modise and Surprise Moriri fluffed promising chances inside 15 minutes.

Moriri had another golden opportunity in the 23rd minute as Anthony Laffor delivered a good ball into the area, which Moriri mistimed and pushed wide of Ronwen Williams' near post.

Williams was forced into his first real save of the tie on 33 minutes when Modise curled a free-kick goalwards, as Williams parried away the game's first shot on target.

Level at the break and with nothing to show for their first half efforts, the home champions elect showed their class and took the lead just four minutes after the interval, as Moriri netted the opener and broke the deadlock as Loftus erupted.

Following a poor first half, Tebogo Langerman atoned for his performance and delivered a pinpoint cross towards Moriri in the middle of the area, leaving a free header for the veteran midfielder, who made no mistake, putting one hand on the Premiership trophy in the process.

Sundowns were far from finished and doubled their advantage in emphatic style as Modise chipped home the Brazilians' second goal and put the result beyond doubt as the packed stadium once again exploded.

Modise picked up a pass well outside the area, spotted Williams off his line and hit his effort first time, neatly lobbing his shot over the goalkeeper's head and into the top corner, rounding off a deserved goal for one of the season's contenders for best player.

Bafana Ba Style completed a total turnaround from their disappointing first half performance as Malajila ran riot at the back after being put through on goal, slotting home the evening's third with a cool finish.

Sundowns' boss Mosimane becomes the first black coach to win the Premiership since the formation of the Premier Soccer League in 1996, and the first since Stan 'Screamer' Tshabalala in 1990, who lifted the trophy, also with Sundowns.

 SOUTH AFRICAN PREMIERSHIP CHAMPIONS

List of South African Premiership champions after Mamelodi Sundowns clinched the 2014 title Tuesday:

1997: Manning Rangers

1998: Mamelodi Sundowns

1999: Mamelodi Sundowns

2000: Mamelodi Sundowns

2001: Orlando Pirates

2002: Santos

2003: Orlando Pirates

2004: Kaizer Chiefs

2005: Kaizer Chiefs

2006: Mamelodi Sundowns

2007: Mamelodi Sundowns

2008: SuperSport Utd

2009: SuperSport Utd

2010: SuperSport Utd

2011: Orlando Pirates

2012: Orlando Pirates

2013: Kaizer Chiefs

2014: Mamelodi Sundowns

Leading South African Premiership scorers after Tuesday matches:

10: Parker (Chiefs)

8: Khuboni (Arrows), Mhango (Celtic), Mnqele (Swallows), Musona (Chiefs), Ng'ambi (Platinum), Vilakazi (Wits) 7: Henyekane (Free State), Mashego (Sundowns), Ndoro (Aces), Ngcobo (Wits), Nyondo (Pretoria), Tlolane (Polokwane) -SAPA Picture courtesy of sundownsfc.co.za

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