Themba Zwane bagged an 11-minute hat-trick to fire Mamelodi Sundowns to a 4-3 victory over AmaZulu in a seven-goal thriller at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in the DStv Premiership on Sunday afternoon.
The Brazilians were forced two make two changes to their squad as Kennedy Mweene and Lebohang Maboe came in to replace the injured Denis Onyango and Siphelele Mkhulise.
Usuthu got off to a great start and opened the scoring in the 15th minute when Lehlohonolo Majoro intercepted a back pass from Ricardo Nascimento before chipping the ball into the back of the net.
Masandawana levelled matters four minutes later after Themba Zwane’s low strike beat AmaZulu goalkeeper Siyabonga Mbtatha to find the net after he was played through on goal by Peter Shaulile.
Zwane then gave his side the lead two minutes later when he skipped past the AmaZulu defence before curling his effort home from the edge of the box.
Sundowns managed to extend their lead on the half hour mark as Zwane completed his hat-trick with a side-footed strike which found the bottom corner from inside the area.
The home side held on to their 3-1 lead over Usuthu as the game went into the half time break.
AmaZulu were awarded a penalty early in the second half as Nascimento played the ball with his hand inside the box. Mweene did well to save the spot-kick but Memlea was on hand to slot home the rebound.
Sundowns got their fourth goal seven minutes later when Shalulile got his name on the scoresheet after nodding home a corner from Lyle Lakay.
The visitors then pulled a goal back in the 58th minute when Sandile Khumalo headed the ball home for AmaZulu’s third goal.
The Brazilians had another chance to further extend their lead in the 62nd minute but Kermit Erasmus saw his powerful strike calmly collected by Mbatha.
Mweene came to his sides rescue six minutes later when he produced a fine save to keep out Augustine Mulenga’s venomous strike from range.
Mbatha was called into action in the 77th minute when he made a full-stretched save to knock Maboe’s shot from range out for a corner.
Nascimento should have put his side further ahead one minute later but the Sundowns defender headed his effort straight into the hands off the AmaZulu goalkeeper.
Majoro had a chance to complete his brace and level matters for his side in the 80th minute but saw his header sail just wide of the target.
AmaZulu pressed forward in search of an equalising goal in the closing stages of the game but Sundowns managed to hold on to their lead over the visitors to snatch all three points at home.
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