University of Pretoria 1 Mamelodi Sundowns 3
Mamelodi Sundowns continued their fine run this season when they beat 10 man neighbours University of Pretoria 3-1 in the Absa Premiership match at the Tuks Stadium on Saturday evening.
The Brazilians showed they were in business as they opened the scoring as early as second minute via Cuthbert Malajila before Grant Kekana levelled for the hosts few minute later. Then Khama Billiat who assisted the first goal for Sundowns, scored the second on the 28th minute before second half substitute Rodney Ramagalela sealed the victory in the dying minutes of the match.
A win means Mamelodi Sundows keep their first spot on the log and they are now on 20 points after nine matches while struggling AmaTuks are 13th place with eight points from nine matches. Pitso Mosimane brought back attacker Khama Billiat in the line after he was absent in the midweek win over Free State Stars due to a car accident he suffered a week ago.
University of Pretoria were forced to make a change up front when they brought on Thabo Mosadi in the place of injured Geoffrey Massa who got a knock in the midweek loss against Bidvest Wits.
The match started with a flier when Khama Billiat’s cross from left found Cuthbert Malajila on the far post unmarked and the striker easily put the ball in the back of the net with a first-time shot to give his side the lead barely two minutes into the match.
The home side didn’t take long to reply when their defender Grant Kekana slotted the ball past Kenndy Mweene from close range following a delivery from a corner-kick by Khethukuthula Zwane in the 6th minute.
Six minutes later, it was suppose to be two to Sundowns when Bongani Ngubane lost possession in the middle of the park, and allowed Cuthbert Malajila to snatch the ball away from him and race to goal but the former Maritzburg United hit-man shot whisker wide of the post.
The visitors continued to pile pressure on the home side and it wasn’t surprising when they retained the lead in the 28th minute when a long ball from Bongani Zungu connected with Khama Billiat and the Zimbabwean showed a great skill to beat two defenders at his mercy before placing the ball under diving Washington Arubi and into the net to make the score 2-1.
AmaTuks almost equalised for the second time in the match five minute before the break when Khethukuthula Zwane unleashed a long range strike that hit the outside of the post and out as the visitors took their lead to the half-time break.
Both side made changes in the start of the second-half with the home side bringing on striker Lucky Mathosi in the space of Siyabonga Ngubane while Sundowns brought on Rodney Ramagalela in the place of Katlego Mashego.
Khama Billiat came from the break stronger than the opening half, and he looked too hard to be handled by Mpho Matsi when he forced the defensive midfielder to make awful tackles on him and leave the referee with no choice but to send him off after a second bookable offense in the 58th minute.
The trailing side had a penalty appeal turned down by the referee when their substitute Lucky Mathosi looked to be pushed in the area by Rashid Sumaila in the 62nd minute, before Hlompho Kekana forced a low great save from Washington Arubi with a long range free-kick four minutes later.
Steve Barker made a double change with twenty minutes to play when he introduced Mpho Maruping and Obidiah Tarumbwa to try and score the equalizer but it was the visitors who put the game to bed in the 90th minute.
Bongani Zungu did well to find Cuthbert Malajila on the right hand flank, and the striker was unselfish when he picked second half substitute Rodney Ramagalela in the far post who made an easy finish into an empty net to make the score 3-1.
The same striker got a chance to score a brace when Surprise Moriri passed him unmarked inside the area but the former Black Leopards man shot wide of the goal with only the goalkeeper to beat as Mamelodi Sundows register their sixth win of the season in nine matches.
University of Pretoria: Arubi, Kekana, Shoyisa, Mkhwanazi, Mousonno-Moussono, Ketjijere,Matsi, Ngubane (Mathosi 45’) Zwane, Nyondo (Tarumbwa 70’), Mosadi (Maruping 72’),
Mamelodi Sundowns: Mweene, Moon, Sumalia, Schut, Langerman, Shongwe (Moriri 73’), Kekana, Billiat (Kumalo 81’), Zungu, Mashego (Ramagalela 45’), Malajila.