Cape Town - Goals from Tebogo Langerman and Sibusiso Vilakazi saw Mamelodi Sundowns come from a goal down to defeat Kaizer Chiefs 2-1 in an Absa Premiership clash at Loftus Stadium on Saturday.
It was just the fourth league game for the Brazilians this season, but it saw them defeat a major title rival and serve notice that they are not to be written off in the domestic championship despite the strain put on their squad by winning the CAF Champions League.
The kick off was delayed 15 minutes as a security measure, due to the large number of spectators still making their way into the stadium as 15:30 approached.
Sundowns enjoyed the better chances in the first half and only some heroic defending from Sibusiso Khumalo and Lorenzo Gordinho prevented Anthony Laffor from opening the scoring in the 25th minute.
Chiefs generally played on the counter attack and they claimed the lead somewhat against the run of play in the 39th minute, with Ramahlwe Mphahlele’s cross-shot from the right of the box drifting over Denis Onyango to find the back of the net.
However, the Brazilians hit back just two minutes later, with a sweeping move ending with Keagan Dolly teeing up Tebogo Langerman to fire a left-footed shot past Itumeleng Khune’s left-hand to make it 1-1.
Sundowns started the second half brightly and claimed the lead eight minutes after the restart, with Percy Tau doing some fine work in the box before seeing his effort blocked on the line by a defender, only for Sibusiso Vilakazi to easily score from the rebound.
The hosts should have been awarded a penalty just under 20 minutes later when Tau showed a great piece of skill in the box, only to be baulked by a combination of Mphahlele and Willard Katsande.
Yet referee Daniel Bennett ignored the pleas for a blatant penalty before booking Tau for his remonstrations.
The Brazilians continued to pile on the pressure and Chiefs needed Itumeleng Khune to make an excellent save to keep out a goal-bound header from Anthony Laffor in the 78th minute and a fine long-range effort from Dolly in injury time.
Mamelodi Sundowns (1) 2 (Langerman 41’, Vilakazi 53’)
Kaizer Chiefs (1) 1 (Mphahlele 39’)
Sundowns XI: Onyango, Langerman, Nascimento, Arendse, Kekana, Mabunda (Mohomi 69’), Laffor (Castro 82’), Dolly, Morena, Vilakazi (Nthethe 88’), Tau
Chiefs XI: Khune, Mphahlele, Gordinho, Mathoho, Khumalo (Chirambadare 42’), Katsande, Cardoso, Maluleka, Tshabalala (Buchanan 63’), Katsvairo, Macha (Parker 46’)