Peter Shalulile scored a hattrick as Mamelodi Sundowns edged closer to the 2021/22 DStv Premiership title after beating Swallows 4-2 at the Dobsonville Stadium, while Cape Town City moved back to fourth with a 1-0 win over Maritzburg United on Wednesday evening.
Sundowns move to 54 points after 24 games, and remain 11 points ahead of second-placed Royal AM, who beat Marumo Gallants 2-0 earlier in the evening.
Swallows 2-4 Mamelodi Sundowns
Kamohelo Mahlatsi had a chance in the seventh minute, but while his shot was on target, it was also direct at Reyaad Pieterse, who made a simple save. Seconds later at the other end, Peter Shalulile had his first chance of the game, but his attempt was also directly at the goalkeeper, and Thela Thela saved comfortably.
The Namibian though was not to be denied, and in the 10th minute, Shalulile heading in his 16th league goal of the season.
It was 2-0 in the 15th minute, and it was that man Shalulile again, an excellent first touch after running onto Khuliso Mudau’s long ball, before firing past Thela.
Swallows struck back immediately, and Dillon Solomons’ powerful low effort beat Pieterse at the near post to make it 2-1 in the 16th minute.
After a few positive moments from Swallows, it was Sundowns who struck again, as Surprise Ralani gathered a loose header on the edge of the area, before controlling well and firing past Thela to make it 3-1 in the 28th minute.
Themba Zwane had the ball in the back of the net in the 37th minute, but he was incorrectly ruled off-side, although Shalulile was in an off-side position.
3-1 at the break, Dylan Kerr run the changes at the break and Kagiso Malinga had a great chance two minutes into the second half. Ruzaigh Gamildien broke free after collecting a loose ball and his cross found Malinga unmarked in the box but Pieterse made himself large and pulled off a good save to deny him in a one-on-one situation.
Monnapule Saleng shot just wide in the 52nd minute, while Zwane shot high and wide in the 61st minute. A few minute later Malinga had two more chances for Swallows but on both occasions he was off target.
Some good awareness from Thela kept Sundowns out in the 73rd minute, as he saved at Shalulile’s feet. Haashim Domingo shot over in the 78tth minute, while a minute later Gamiedien went wide for Swallows. Solomons’ 81st minute effort failed to trouble Pieterse.
Gamildien pulled another back for Swallows in the 89th minute, his looping header from Mahlatsi’s cross beating Pieterse.
But Sundowns weren’t done either, and Shalulile completed his hattrick after he followed up to tap in after Thela saved Zwane’s initial effort. Shalulile with goal number 18.
Maritzburg United 0-1 Cape Town City
City picked up a fourth consecutive win as they beat Maritzburg 1-0 in the game at the Harry Gwala Stadium.
After a half where City had the better chances, Eric Tinkler’s men were awarded a penalty in the 43rd minute after Thamsanqa Mkhize was brought down by Keegan Ritchie. Khanyisa Mayo stepped up to convert and give them a 1-0 lead at the break.
It was a hard fought second half, and City were awarded another penalty in the 86th minute, whem substitute Mogamat May was fouled by Steven Pereira. Mayo stepped up to take another spot kick but his powerful shot struck the crossbar and bounced out.
City move above Orlando Pirates, who beat Sekhukhune United 1-0 earlier, into fourth spot on 39 points.