Mamelodi Sundowns reclaimed top spot in the DStv Premiership after claiming a 3-0 victory over Orlando Pirates at the Orlando Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Buccaneers made two changes from their 1-0 defeat to Enyimba in the Caf Confederation Cup as Thulani Hlatshwayo and Deon Hotto returned to the side, while the Brazilians were boosted by the return of Peter Shalulile and Ricardo Nascimento, respectively.
The game got off to a slow start as both Sundowns and Pirates tried to find their rhythm in the opening exchanges of the match.
Sundowns had two chances to take the lead between the ninth and 13th minute when Lebohang Maboe fired his effort wide of goal from the edge of the box before Kermit Erasmus volley deflected out for a corner.
The Brazilians came close to taking the lead in the 21st minute when Aubrey Modiba floated a ball to the back post, which narrowly escapes Themba Zwane.
At the other end, Pirates produced their own chance at goal two minutes later but Denis Onyango made a comfortable save to deny Innocent Maela’s attempt at goal.
Neither side were able to break down their oppositions defence as the game went into the half time break locked at 0-0.
Sundowns were then awarded a penalty early in the second half when Shalulile’s shot struck the arm of Maela in the box. Nascimento stepped up and made no mistake from the spot kick.
Gift Motupa should have doubled Sundowns’ lead in the 61st minute but the forward fired his effort over the crossbar.
Sundowns were then forced into making a substitution in the 64th minute when Lyle Lakay came on to replace the injured Modiba before Pirates made a change of their own two minutes later when Tshegofatso Mabasa came on in place of Vincent Pule.
Hotto and Shalulile had a chance to find the net at either end of the field when they both produced acrobatic overhead kicks, which narrowly missed the target.
Sundowns managed to double their lead in the 75th minute when Shalulile capitalised on an error by the experienced Hlatshwayo to slot the ball past Wayne Sandilands.
The Brazilians then extended their lead even further four minutes later when Lakay fired his well taken free kick in off the post with Sandilands rooted to the spot.
The visitors made another substitution in the 82th minute when goalscorer Nascimento was replaced by Brian Onyango before bringing on Mothobi Mvala and Promise Mkhuma for Coetzee and Zwane.
Maboe should’ve added to Pirates’ misery just before the 90 minute mark but the attacker’s effort crashed off the post before going out of play, but they held on to claim all three points to end Pirates 34 game unbeaten run at home..
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