Mamelodi Sundowns edged Maritzburg United 1-0 in a DStv Premiership clash on Thursday night to maintain their impressive unbeaten start to the season.
The Brazilians made it seven wins from eight and are still yet to concede a goal after another clinical performance at Loftus Versfeld.
After adding the MTN8 trophy to their cabinet this past weekend, the Brazilians made several changes with Reyaad Pieterse handed a rare start while Divine Lunga, Haashim Domingo, Pavol Safranko and Neo Maema were all recalled to the starting XI.
After a tight start, chances were at a premium with Lunga’s dangerous cross well smothered by Maritzburg shotstopper Marcel Engelhardt, the only opening in the first 30 minutes.
Downs did, however, have a sight at goal eight minutes before the break as Peter Shalulile was sent through on goal, but the Namibian couldn’t keep his strike down as the sides went into the break level.
The defending champions started the second half with more purpose and intent, as Safranko forced a save out of Engelhardt after going through on goal in the opening stages.
The goal eventually came just before the hour mark as Maema produced a stunning long ball to pick out the run of Shalulile, who produced a magnificent volley finish to leave Engelhardt with no chance.
The Brazilians then controlled the tempo, with Mothobi Mvala replacing Safranko to add protection in midfield.
The Team of Choice did produce a late scare, though, as Mosa Lebusa almost headed into his own net from a corner but Pieterse was well positioned to provide a knee block to help Sundowns hold on to the three points.
The Brazilians now sit three points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand.
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