Lebogang Maboe netted one and assisted another as Mamelodi Sundowns ran out 2-1 victors in their Tshwane derby clash against SuperSport United on Sunday afternoon, writes MARSHALL GOUTS.
Kaitano Tembo’s side went into the clash on the back of a six-game unbeaten streak in their last six league outings, with four of those clashes ending in a stalemate.
Pitso Mosimane’s side last tasted defeat in the Absa Premiership 24 matches ago when they were beaten 3-1 by Orlando Pirates in January.
The home side’s last victory in the Tshwane derby came in the 2013/14 campaign.
The encounter got off to a slow start, with both sides content on keeping the ball in the early exchanges in a bid to sniff out each other’s weaknesses.
Jeremy Brockie was given the first opportunity of the game when he latched on to Lyle Lakay’s defence-splitting ball, however the New Zealand international’s looping header went over the bar.
Masandawana opened the scoring in the tenth minute when a brilliant individual effort by Lebogang Maboe saw him evade the attention of two defenders before rifling home a low strike.
That goal shifted momentum decisively in favour of the visitors. Sundowns star Gaston Sirino made himself guilty of wastefulness when he missed two point-blank range efforts after some great play by Thapelo Morena.
It was all one-way traffic as Sundowns doubled their lead in the 34th minute when Lyle Lakay’s grasscutter found the back of the net with SuperSport’s defence in sixes-and-sevens.
SuperSport opted for a change minutes before the half-time break with Onismor Bhasera replacing Richard Boaten, who had picked up a knock.
Zwane could have added a third in the 42nd minute when he dazzled Ronwen Williams and the SuperSport defence, before his goalbound effort was cleared off the line.
Tembo made another change in the first-half as Aubrey Modiba was brought on for Phumlani Ntshangase.
Sundowns maintained their dominance for much of the second half, which resulted in little goalmouth action for the home side.
Substitute Modiba came agonisingly close to pulling one back after he skinned Morena, but his effort cannoned off the post.
Sundowns upped their tempo and got back into their usual rhythm of play. As a result, SuperSport were forced to make a number of tactical fouls in a bid to keep the scoreline at 2-0.
SuperSport managed to pull one back in the 65th minute when an unmarked Morgan Gould reacted quickest to slot home Modiba’s ball into the area.
The goal shifted the momentum in favour of the home side, who threw waves of attacks towards the Masandawana goalframe, however, a mixture of resolute defending and poor finishing saw the scoreline remain at 2-1.
Substitute Silva had the best opportunity to put the game to bed when he latched on to a defensive error, but bazed his effort wide of the mark.
In the end it proved a a hard-fought victory for Sundowns, who ran out 2-1 victors to extend their dominance in the Tshwane derby.
Photo: Gallo Images
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