The DSTV Premiership resumed for the first time in 2021, as league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns ended Orlando Pirates’ unbeaten run, while Maritzburg United finally picked up their first win of the season.
Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 Orlando Pirates
Sundowns handed Pirates their first defeat of the 2020/21 season as they won 1-0 at Loftus Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Sundowns were missing a number of key players, and Aubrey Modiba and Khuliso Mudau earned their first starts of the season. Meanwhile Wayne Sandilands returned to the Pirates starting line-up.
It was end to end action at Loftus Stadium, as both teams went out on attack from the opening minute. But while the intent was there, the finishing wasn’t.
Pirates perhaps had the best early chances, but it was Brian Onyango who finally broke the deadlock. Having only just saved Sundowns in defence, the Kenyan finished from close range in the 35th minute to make it 1-0 to the home team.
The second half once again brought opportunities for both teams. Substitute Kermit Erasmus should have doubled the lead in the 83rd minute, but his attempt struck the upright, and bounced clear.
The victory moves Sundowns three points clear at the top for the time being.
Maritzburg United 2-1 Bloemfontein Celtic
Maritzburg won their first game of the season, when they beat Celtic 2-1 at the Harry Gwala Stadium.
New Maritzburg signing Clayton Daniels was thrown into the starting line-up immediately by Ernst Middendorp., while Celtic could only field four substitutes as they had positive covid-19 tests within the squad.
Thabiso Kutumela put the home team in the lead, scoring from an acute angle to make it 1-0 in the 26th minute.
Maritzburg were awarded a penalty in the 35th minute when Daylon Claasen was ruled to have been fouled in the box, and Kutumela made no mistake from the spot to make it 2-0.
Victor Letsoalo pulled one back for Celtic in the 83rd minute, to make it a nervous last few minutes for Maritzburg, but they were able to hold out for the win.