Absa Premiership

Sundowns stutter at FNB Stadium

Khama Billiat (Gallo Images)
Khama Billiat (Gallo Images)

Khama Billiat's goal was not enough to hand Mamelodi Sundowns an Absa Premiership win, as they lost 2-1 to title rivals Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday night at FNB Stadium.

The defeat for Pitso Mosimane's men means they remain at number five on the log standings with 34 points from 18 league matches. 

The opening stages of the encounter, Mosimane's men dominated the proceedings, but there were no clear cut chances.

Just after the ninth minute, Tiyani Mabunda received a wonderful pass from Bangaly Soumahoro in the box, but the midfielder's header went over goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune's crossbar.

It was an end-to-end affair, with the battle intense in the heart of the park as both sides aimed  to dominate the encounter.

Steve Komphela's men pushed forward in the 17th minute as an excellent ball from Simphiwe Tshabalala into the box from a set piece created a chance for Erick Mathoho - but his attempt flew wide.

In the 22nd minute, Parker showed his class with a brilliant diving header on goal but it lacked power and keeper Kennedy Mweene collected easily.

However, four minutes later, Billiat scored for the Brazilians with a powerful shot which deflected off Lorenzo Gordinho to beat a wrong-footed Khune.

Despite trying to dominate, Sundowns succumbed to pressure as Parker beat Mweene on his near posts in the 34th minute following a weaving run by Edmore Chirambadare down the right flank.

It was 1-1 at half time.

Upon their return from the tunnel, Amakhosi showed signs of danger as Parker took a shot which went narrowly wide off Mweene's top corner in the 52nd minute.

Three minutes later, Themba Zwane wasted a wonderful chance from Fares Hachi's delivery on the left, Tau initially received the ball before setting up Zwane whose shot disappointingly went over the crossbar.

Right in the hour mark, Zwane beat Mathoho in the box and set himself through on goal, but he failed again to beat the onrushing Khune.

With 12 minutes to go, the African champions succumbed to pressure as Soumahoro scored an own goal trying to play a back pass to Mweene.

Chiefs were all over their visitors and two minutes later; substitute George Lebese nearly made it 3-1 after turning Tebogo Langerman, but his curling shot missed the far post with only Mweene to beat.

Bafana Bafana goalkeeper, Khune, denied his national teammate, Hlompho Kekana from a well struck set piece - which was goal bound as the keeper tipped it over the woodwork - in added time.

The win for the Soweto giants means they now occupy the second spot on the log standings with 39 points from 22 matches in their league campaign.