Downs exact revenge on Polokwane City

An injury hit Mamelodi Sundowns outfit edged Polokwane City 1-0 in an Absa Premiership encounter at Loftus Stadium on Saturday evening.

Teko Modise’s second goal in as many games narrowed Kaizer Chiefs advantage atop of the table to six points.

Rise and Shine famously beat ‘Downs 1-0 in the reverse leg earlier this season, the loss was Abafana Ba’Style’s first of the campaign.

Mamelodi Sundowns injury problems continued with Bongani Zungu and Tebogo Langerman adding to the Brazilians long list of high profile absentees.

Pitso Mosimane continued with Wayne Sandilands in goal while Mzikayise Mashaba, Anthony Laffor and Lebohang Mokoena returned to the starting XI.

Meanwhile, Boebie Solomons made a single enforced change to the starting XI that lost to Bloemfontein Celtic last time out.

The relatively unknown Sifiso Mbhele replaced the suspended Tlou Molekwane.

Kabelo Lichaba somehow managed to direct a powerful cross from Mokoena over Modiri Marumo’s crossbar from point blank range in the fifth minute.

Mokoena left a couple of Rise and Shine defenders in his wake before playing a low cross into the six-yard box but Lichaba cleared the ball from danger when the odds were on him to pass into the back of his own net.

As expected Sundowns were making all the early moves and broke the deadlock in the 17th minute through Teko Modise.

Surprise Moriri’s initial effort was spectacularly cleared off the line by Mbhele but Modise was on hand to stab home the rebound.

Hlompho Kekana hit one of his trademark thunderbolts on the stroke of halftime but Marumo was well positioned to keep out the powerful effort.

Despite their dominance, Sundowns failed to add to their tally before the interval while Wayne Sandilands was literally unemployed in the first stanza.

Sandilands was finally called into action five minutes into the second half, the Bafana Bafana shot stopper though was hardly tested as he easily gathered Thabo Rakhale’s tame effort.

To their credit, the visitors looked more threating as the half grew on, pushing ‘Downs deep into their own half on occasion.

Phulane Tlolane went close to levelling matters in the 71st minute.

The Rise and Shine forward lost his marker before directing a header at goal but Sandilands had his near post covered to keep the hosts noses in front.

Sundowns looked content to sit back in the final exchanges and were nearly punished in stoppage time.

Rakhale’s curling free-kick from just outside the area was on target but Sandilands was again up to the task.

Mamelodi Sundowns (1) 1 (Modise 17’)

Polokwane City (0) 0

Teams:

Mamelodi Sundowns: Sandilands; Mphahlele, Nthethe, Sumaila, Mashaba, Kekana, Modise (Nyandoro 90’), Moriri, Mokoena (Moon 77’), Laffor, Ramagalela (Masenamela 70’)

Polokwane City: Marumo; Mbhele, Tshilo, Mngqibisa, Lichaba, Rakhale, Mdluli (Mncwango 79’), Mthimkhulu, Jembula (Monyana 66’), Kanyenda, Tlolane (Tlolane 82’)