Mamelodi Sundowns thrash Orlando Pirates to dethrone AmaZulu and reclaim PSL top spot

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Mamelodi Sundowns celebrate against Orlando Pirates (Gallo Images)
Mamelodi Sundowns celebrate against Orlando Pirates (Gallo Images)

Mamelodi Sundowns claimed a convincing 3-0 win over Orlando Pirates on Sunday at Orlando Stadium to move ahead of AmaZulu and reclaim top spot on the DStv Premiership log standings.

AS IT HAPPENED | Orlando Pirates 0-3 Mamelodi Sundowns 

Twenty-four hours earlier on Saturday afternoon, Benni McCarthy's AmaZulu soared to a 1-0 win against rivals Golden Arrows in the Durban derby to dethrone Masandawana which only lasted for one day.

The Brazilians, who have two games in hand over Usuthu, opened their account from the penalty spot in the 57th minute before Peter Shalulile and Lyle Lakay added their names to the scoresheet late on.

The first half proved to be a closely contested affair, and despite having just 39% of ball possession, the Buccaneers managed to fashion to shots on target while Sundowns could only create one wayward attempt on goal.

Pirates threatened early on and went close to grabbing the lead after just two minutes of play as Vincent Pule saw his goal-bound shot saved in the bottom-left corner by Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango.

Sundowns posted a response a few minutes later, but the chance came to nothing, Lebohang Maboe firing wide of the left-hand post with a speculative shot from outside the box.

After a brief lull in play, the Buccaneers again went close to forging a breakthrough on 23 minutes.

Innocent Maela tried his luck from 35 yards out, but Pirates goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands was alert to the danger, saving the ball in the top-left corner.

However, that would prove to be the last real chance of note as the teams eventually went into the half-time break with the scoreline remaining goalless. 

Sundowns were then forced to make a substitute during the break, with Gift Motupa coming on for ankle-injury victim Kermit Erasmus.

Once again, Pirates started brightly and created an excellent chance to break the deadlock early on, but Pule could not capitalise, sending a header from a difficult angle wide of the left post.

And the Buccaneers were made to rue that missed chance as Sundowns went on to earn a spot-kick in the 56th minute after Peter Shalulile's attempt on goal struck the hand of Maela in the danger area.

Ricardo Nascimento stepped up to take the penalty and held his nerve, sending Sandilands the wrong way as he placed his shot in the top corner.

Pirates redoubled their efforts after falling behind, but later efforts from Pule and Deon Hotto failed to hit the target.

Sundowns remained a threat and would eventually go on to double their advantage in the 76th minute, Shalulile latching onto a neat pass from Motupa before firing the ball into the bottom-left corner.

The Buccaneers were still reeling from the second goal when Sundowns struck again four minutes later, substitute Lyle Lakay firing a sumptuous free-kick into the top-left corner via the post.

Sundowns created two more chances in the closing stages of the contest. Still, Lakay and Maboe failed to find the mark as the visitors cruised to a comfortable win, leapfrogging AmaZulu back to the summit of Premiership standings.

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