Mamelodi Sundowns were crowned PSL champions for a record eighth time after thrashing Ajax Cape Town 3-1 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday afternoon, writes DEAN WORKMAN.
The Brazilians knew that a victory would secure the title, while the Urban Warriors travelled to Pretoria desperate for three points as they looked to pull themselves out of the promotion-relegation playoff spot.
Muhsin Ertugral’s team got off to the perfect start as they opened the scoring with just three minutes on the clock. Roderick Kabwe found Mosa Lebusa in the box and he made no mistake in finishing from close range.
Pitso Mosimane’s men reacted quickly as they levelled matters just 10 minutes later. Percy Tau dribbled his way past the Ajax defenders before picking out Khama Billiat, leaving the Zimbabwean with an easy finish to make it 1-1 after 13 minutes.
Sundowns pressed forward in search of a goal and after a spell of pressure, they finally got their reward. Billiat was brought down in the box by the Ajax goalkeeper Jody February and after thinking about it for a while, the referee pointed to the spot. Ricardo Nascimento stepped up and smashed the penalty home to make it 2-1 after 29 minutes.
Masandawana were cruising as they made it 3-1 with 37 minutes gone. Sibusiso Vilakazi played a one-two with Tebogo Langerman which carved the Ajax defence open. The striker received the ball back and arrowed his shot into the bottom corner.
It was 3-1 at the break and Sundowns had a hand on the trophy.
Downs continued to attack in the second half but were denied by a series of great saves by February who kept his team in the game.
As time went on, it was clear that Sundowns knew the job was done and they looked to keep their shape and punish Ajax on the counter.
Despite looking a constant threat, Pitso’s men could not add to the scoreline. That, however, will not phase Downs, who were crowned PSL champions for the eighth time. Ajax now face a near-impossible task of avoiding the promotion-relegation playoffs.