Sundowns Off To Winning Start
Defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns got off to a winning start in the DStv Premiership, as they beat AmaZulu 1-0 at Loftus Stadium on Friday evening.
It was the first game of this season’s DStv Premiership with five more fixtures scheduled for Saturday, and two on Sunday. It was also a battle between the two clubs who finished first and second in last year’s league campaign.
Haashim Domingo tried a shot from just outside the area in the 13th minute, but it was wide of goal, as the home team looked to take early control.
While Sundowns dominated possession, shots at goal weren’t coming for either side, though Domingo got another attempt in the 34th minute, but once again his effort was off target.
But Sundowns were awarded a penalty in the 43rd minute after Peter Shalulile was brought down by Thembela Sikhakhane.Themba Zwane stepped up to take the spot kick and put Sundowns into the lead. It is the third season in a row that Zwane has scored in Sundowns’ first league game of the season.
And at the halftime break it was 1-0 to Sundowns.
Thapelo Xoki went close as the second half got underway, but his powerful header went wide of goal, while Keagan Buchanan went wide a few minutes later. New Gambian signing Mattar Ceesay went wide in the 51st minute as AmaZulu piled on the pressure, trying to get back in the game.
Shalulile went close in the 61st minute, but after being played in by Zwane, his left-footed shot went across the face of goal and narrowly wide.
A mix up in defence in the 68th minute almost led to an AmaZulu equaliser through substitute Lehlohonolo Majoro, but Rushine De Reuck was on hand to clear off the line. A minute later Mothobi Mvala broke free at the other end, but he was unable to control the ball, and a heavy touch allowed Veli Mothwa to gather the ball.
Shalulile had another good chance in the 75th minute, but his first time effort went just wide, as was the chance from Thapelo Morena in the 85th minute.
A stoppage time effort from substitute Tshepang Moremi flew over Kennedy Mweene’s goal, as AmaZulu put on same late pressure, but it was all in vain, and Sundowns held on for the three points.
Sundowns XI: Mweene, Mudau, De Reuck, Lebusa, Lakay, Mvala, Coetzee, Domingo, Modiba, Shalulile, Zwane.
AmaZulu XI: Mothwa, Sikhakhane, Zulu, Xoki, Mgwazela, Makhaula, Sithebe, Buchanan, Ntuli, Ceesay Maduna