Sundowns snare rare league double to sink hapless Kaizer Chiefs

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Mamelodi Sundowns celebrate Neo Maema's goal.
Mamelodi Sundowns celebrate Neo Maema's goal.
Gallo Images

At the FNB Stadium

Mamelodi Sundowns recorded their first-ever Premier Soccer League-era double against Kaizer Chiefs through a 1-0 win that promised more than it delivered on Saturday night.

Having crushed Chiefs 4-0 in the first encounter on 13 August last year, Neo Maema's 20th-minute goal was enough to separate the sides in what was a contest Sundowns shaded.

If it wasn't for unnecessary casualness at the back and in the final third, the victory margin should have been wider.

In recent seasons, Sundowns have struggled in the return games against Chiefs and this success, their 15th win of the season and their 12th consecutive win, was savoured by their "Yellow Wall" who sang through the music at the football coliseum.

With the win moving Sundowns to 46 points, Chiefs were subjected to a third successive loss this year and a seventh for the season and remain on 24 points

Rhulani Mokwena will carry all the smiles while Arthur Zwane will again struggle to find answers even though Chiefs displayed an effervescence that was missing in their losses against Sekhukhune United and AmaZulu.

Sundowns' goal through Maema was the stuff generally seen on PlayStation football, where the visitors played themselves out of a Chiefs press and surged their way up the right-hand flank.

It was as if the hosts were shocked by the speed of Sundowns' movement and by the time Themba Zwane's cross was pushed to Khuliso Mudau, who then threaded the ball to Maema's weaker right foot, Chiefs' defenders had stopped.

Chiefs captain Itumeleng Khune watched the ball as best as he could, but could do nothing about the shot that thundered past him.

In what was a first half of plenty of shots at goal, especially from Sundowns, but few clear-cut chances, the lead-up to the goal showcased the difference in class between the sides.

Chiefs were more than content to hit Sundowns on the counter-attack as they had the players with the pace to ask the necessary questions.

What was missing was the final pass or the touch to guide the ball past Ronwen Williams. Chiefs did have three attempts to do so in the first stanza through Samkelo Zwane (19th), Keagan Dolly (31st) and Caleb Bimenyimana (45th), but none pierced Williams.

Zwane's chance was the one that hurt Chiefs the most for it was from that press that allowed Sundowns their rapid build-up to score,.

Bimenyimana on the other hand, was too late to get to Ashley du Preez's cross while Dolly's chance (ruled out for offside) stemmed from the one opportunity Chiefs had to push through Sundowns' stacked midfield.

What Chiefs did well was to put a lid on Peter Shalulile, whom neither had a clear chance on goal to the point where he conceded the game's first yellow card.

Chiefs started the better side in the second half, with Du Preez (46th) and Dolly (55th) both spurning chances.

Dolly, in the 74th minute, then proceeded to miss what was the easiest chance of the game when a cross rolled in from the left-hand side, but inexplicably, he wasn't able to put a foot on the ball.

The large, but far from capacity crowd that was expectedly dominated by Chiefs fans, groaned in disbelief and were nearly reduced to tears a minute later when Gaston Sirino's chance just dribbled wide of Khune's net.

That opportunity, along with that of Cassius Mailula's 55th-minute chance that hit the side-netting, were the two best ones the visitors had in the second half.

Sundowns were also guilty of being too casual on the ball at both ends and Chiefs, backed by their vociferous supporters, played with the necessary in the last 10 minutes.

Chiefs nearly stole an equaliser in the 89th when a failed attempt to retain possession by Sundowns was exploited by the hosts.

Substitute Wandile Duba hared down the right-hand side, but Mduduzi Shabalala and Kgaogelo Sekgota both failed to get to the ball in time.

 That was all she wrote for the hosts as Sundowns claimed the one record that's eluded them for more than 25 years. 


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Fixtures
Fri 03 Feb 23 18:00 PM (SAST)
Swallows
Swallows
Richards Bay
Richards Bay
Dobsonville Stadium
SuperSport
Fri 03 Feb 23 19:30 PM (SAST)
Maritzburg Utd
Maritzburg Utd
AmaZulu
AmaZulu
Harry Gwala Stadium
SuperSport
Sat 04 Feb 23 15:30 PM (SAST)
Chippa United
Chippa United
Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
SuperSport
Results
Sun 29 Jan 23
TS Galaxy
TS Galaxy 4
Golden Arrows
Golden Arrows 0
Sun 29 Jan 23
Kaizer Chiefs
Kaizer Chiefs 2
Royal AM
Royal AM 0
Sun 29 Jan 23
Chippa United
Chippa United 1
Maritzburg Utd
Maritzburg Utd 0
Logs
Team
P
W
PTS
Team Logo
1. Mamelodi Sundowns
20
17
52
Team Logo
2. Richards Bay
18
8
31
Team Logo
3. SuperSport Utd
18
8
29
Team Logo
4. Orlando Pirates
18
8
28