Mamelodi Sundowns extended their unbeaten run in the DStv Premiership to 10 matches with a 2-0 victory over Baroka at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Brazilians made three changes to their squad that beat Jwaneng Galaxy in the Caf Champions League as Denis Onyango, Rivaldo Coetzee and Themba Zwane returned to the starting lineup.
Sundowns got off to a good start and almost broke the deadlock in the opening exchanges as Themba Zwane forced Oscarine Masuluke into making a good save to keep out his free kick.
The visitors nearly took the lead in the 14th minute, but Peter Shalulile’s header crashed against the crossbar.
Baroka had a chance of their own seven minutes later but Denis Onyango tipped Kgodiso Monama’s volley over the bar.
Onyango came to his side’s rescue moments later to deny Monamo again in quick succession.
Sundowns nearly took the lead again in stoppage time but Shalulile rattled the woodwork for the second time in the game.
At the half-time break, the score was locked at 0-0.
The visitors picked up where they left off in the first half and dominated proceedings early in the second.
Onyango was called into action in the 52nd minute when he produced a good save to deny Gerald Phiri Jr’s long-range effort.
Sundowns’ persistence paid off three minutes later when they took the lead through a superb free kick from Lyle Lakay.
The Tshwane giants then made their first substitution in the 59th minute when Gaston Sirino came on to replace Aubrey Modiba.
Sirino nearly made an instant impact three minutes later when he unleashed a thunderous strike from range, forcing Masuluke to push the ball out for a corner.
Sundowns then made a double change in the 79th minute when George Maluleka and Andile Jali came on to replace Lebogang Maboe and Mothobi Mvala, respectively.
Maluleka had an opportunity to double Sundowns’ lead with six minutes left to play but the veteran midfielder blazed his effort from distance wide of the upright.
Jali had his first attempt at goal two minutes later when he did well to control Shalulile’s cutback before firing his half-volley narrowly wide of the post.
Bakgaga were then reduced to 10 men in the 88th minute when Denwin Farmer was shown a red card for his last-man challenge on Shalulile.
Zwane put the game to bed in stoppage time when he fired his effort into the top corner after receiving an excellent pass from Sirino to make it 2-0.
Sundowns managed to hold on to their two-goal lead over Baroka until the final whistle to walk away with all three points at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.
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