Downs see off Stars to reach No 2

Mamelodi Sundowns defeated Free State Stars 2-0 when they continued where they left off against SuperSport United in their midweek game at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday night.

A first-half goal by Cuthbert Malajila and second-half strike by Khama Billiat ensured the Tshwane side walked away with the three points.

The win takes the Brazilians to position two on the Absa Premiership, while Ea Lla Koto remain at position 14.

Sundowns started like a house on fire and as early as 12th minute, Cuthbert Malajila converted a cross from the right hand side from Hlompho Kekana with a fine header.

In the second half, Teko Modise found Khama Billiat on the right flank in the 62nd minute and he managed to overcome Daniel Cardoso and made it easy as he scored from a low shot, giving Bruce Mtshali no chance.

The hosts dominated the proceedings in the first half but the visitors had some chances to get a goal when on-loan striker Tiyani Mabunda called goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene into action in the 28th minute, as he fisted the ball over the posts.

Although the score remained 1-0 during halftime, Pitso Mosimane’s men were in control of the match.

The beginning of the second half gave Sundowns an opportunity to keep the Bethlehem side under pressure, but they failed to penetrate the defence. Ten minutes into the second half, Kinnah Phiri’s men searched for an equaliser, but their decision making let them down in the Sundowns half.

In the 62nd minute, a brilliant pass by Teko Modise found Khama Billiat, who beat Daniel Cardoso for pace before netting from a low shot which gave goalkeeper Bruce Mtshali no chance.

As the match approached the 80th mark, Billiat made a brilliant run on the right wing and entered the box, but his cross could not find Modise and the defence cleared with ease.

For Stars, Mabunda tried to catch the defence on a counter, but Alje Schut and Thabo Nthethe were alert to deny him a goal.

In the 90th minute, Moeketsi Sekola’s attempt went wide and failed to trouble Kennedy Mweene after a beautiful link up with Cardoso.

Sundowns didn’t take the foot off the pedal as they introduced Surprise Moriri for Hlompho Kekana and they managed to hold on to the deserved lead.

Mamelodi Sundowns (1) 2 (Malajila 12’, Billiat 62’)

Free State Stars 0

Sundowns: Mweene, Mphahlele, Schut, Nthethe, Masenamela, Zungu, Kekana (Moriri 87’), Modise (Nomandela 78’), Malajila (Laffor 28’), Billiat, Zwane

Stars: Mtshali, Letuka (Moloi, 69’), Thlone, Cardoso, Costa Angula, Masehe, Venter, Mabunda, Henyekane (Abraw 85’), Sekola, Mashego