Mamelodi Sundowns returned to the summit of the DStv Premiership as they beat Orlando Pirates 3-0 at the Orlando Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
AmaZulu had moved temporarily into top spot after their victory over Golden Arrows yesterday, but Sundowns are back in front, one point ahead of Usuthu. The defending champions also still have two games in hand.
Orlando Pirates 0-3 Mamelodi Sundowns
Pirates had a chance as early as the second minute, but Vincent Pule’s effort from a set piece failed to trouble Denis Onyango in the Sundowns’ goal.
Sundowns began took control of the possession in the opening 20 minutes, and while they were making inroads into the final third, Wayne Sandilands wasn’t tested with shots, as the Pirates defence stifled the final product.
Onyango was tested again with a long range effort in the 23rd minute, but the Ugandan veteran dealt comfortably with Innocent Maela’s shot
It was a tactical battle between the two teams, and at halftime it remained scoreless, with very few clear cut chances created by either team.
Two minutes into the second half, Pule went close again for Pirates, but his attempt from a Deon Hotto corner, passed across the face of the goal.
Sundowns were awarded a penalty in the 56th minute, after Maela handballed in the box, as Peter Shalulile turned to take a shot at goal, his attempt struck the Pirates defender’s arm. Ricardo Nascimento stepped up to take the kick and scored with a good penalty take.
Gift Motupa, who had replaced Kermit Erasmus at the break, tried a shot from outside the box on the hour mark, but it went high and wide.
Two minutes later Pule had two attempts for Pirates, his first attempt flashing across the goal, before firing off target seconds later.
Hotto’s overhead kick attempt in the 67th minute went narrowly wide, while on the other end Shalulile’s overhead kick in the 72nd minute flew over the goal.
Sundowns made it 2-0 in the 76th minute, after he pounced on a defensive error from Thulani Hlatshwayo, his attempted pass deflecting off Motupa into Shalulile’s path, who took full advantage to shoot past Sandilands for his tenth league goal of the season.
Three minutes later it was 3-0, Sandilands having no chance as Lyle Lakay’s free kick shot flew around the wall and in after hitting the left upright.
It could have been more, as another free kick from Lakay went wide in the 87th minute, and two minutes later Lebohang Maboe shot wide when he should have scored, after another good counter from a defensive error.