Mamelodi Sundowns got their DStv Premiership campaign off to the perfect start as they romped home to an emphatic 3-0 win over Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday afternoon.
Chiefs came into the game looking to build on their win over Maritzburg United in the MTN8 as Gavin Hunt took charge of his first league game as Amakhosi boss.
Sundowns, on the other hand, suffered their first defeat under new management in their MTN8 loss to Bloemfontein Celtic and were looking to bounce back against their rivals,
Chiefs made a number of changes bringing in Willard Katsande, Lebogang Manyama and Leonardo Castro, while Kermit Erasmus, Andile Jali, Lyle Lakay and Thapelo Morena started for Sundowns.
The Glamour Boys looked to start on the front foot and had their first opening with just three minutes gone. Reeve Frosler played the ball over the top down the right channel for Khama Billiat, who ran on to it before unleashing a powerful volley at goal, but Denis Onyango was well positioned to make the save.
Downs gradually grew into the game and had their first opening with 17 minutes gone as Ramahlwe Mphahlele brought Themba Zwane down on the edge of the box. Rivaldo Coetzee stepped up and floated the free kick into the box, which Motjeka Madisha headed narrowly wide.
The defending champions were beginning to apply the pressure and came close to taking the lead five minutes later as Peter Shalulile latched on to a poor Itumeleng Khune clearance, but his lobbed effort was cleared off the line by Mphahlele.
The stopper then made another mistake with 37 minutes gone. This one proved costly, with Khune missing his punch from a Coetzee corner leaving Shalulile free to head home and fire his side into the lead.
Chiefs had the first opening of the second half as Billiat marauded down the left flank before cutting the ball back to Castro, but the Colombian’s effort was well blocked by Coetzee.
The Brazilians then doubled the lead as new forward Erasmus slipped through Zwane on goal. The 2019-20 Footballer of the Season was met by an outrushing Khune making a block but the ball fell at the feet of Erasmus, who rifled it into the bottom left corner.
The Glamour Boys were trying to get back into the game and had a chance from a set play as Manyama whipped in a free kick, but Castro could not keep his header down.
Sundowns then had a couple of chances. Firstly, Khune saved Shalulile’s effort as the forward connected to a Lyle Lakay free kick and then Cardoso made a last-ditch tackle to deny Zwane.
Khune and Chiefs’ day only got worse in the closing moments as former Chiefs man George Maluleka was taken down by the keeper in the box. Zwane stepped up and made no mistake in converting from the spot and securing a comfortable 3-0 win.
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