Aces defeat Sundowns to move top

A depleted Mpumalanga Black Aces side held on to beat Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 in an Absa Premiership clash at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Tuesday evening.

AmaZayoni played the entire second stanza with 10 men after Jackson Mabokgwane saw red in first-half stoppage time for a careless challenge.

Zamuxolo Ngalo handed Aces the lead at the break with a well taken goal, but Sundowns would've fancied their chances to get all three points.

Instead it was Aces who did enough to claim the spoils and subsequently move top of the standings after three rounds of fixtures.

Still high on confidence from scoring at the weekend, Aubrey Ngoma tried his luck early on with his left-footed strike flying wide of Kennedy Mweene's goal.

Aces are dangerous on the counter and conjured another chance through Ngoma - the former AmaTuks ace burst down the right flank before feeding Thanduyise Khuboni who found himself in a pocket of space on the edge of the area.

The former Bafana Bafana midfielder looked up and had a sight of goal, but took too long to pull the trigger, giving Siyanda Zwane the chance to block his effort.

At the other end Keagan Dolly forced Mabokgwane into a good save on 20 minutes. A brilliant pass by Bongani Zungu sent Khama Billiat free who in turn picked out Dolly - the former Ajax Cape Town attackers' curling shot well saved by the Aces gloves man.

Aces went in front through Ngalo in the 37th minute. The AmaZayoni captain lost his marker before nodding Tshidiso Tukane's precise corner-kick in at the near post.

With the interval looming Aces keeper Mabokgwane opened the door for a Sundowns comeback after he received his marching orders for a challenge on Cuthbert Malajila outside the area.

As a result Shu-aib Walters was handed his competitive debut for the club with Ngoma the player sacrificed by Muhsin Ertugral.

The former Maritzburg United No 1 had to be on his toes from the onset, saving a Teko Modise free-kick before the referees whistle for halftime.

Walters was called into action in the 57th minute after Billiat weaved his way into the area, the burly stopper was quick off his line to stifle the Zimbabwean trickster.

Sundowns continued to press and somehow the hosts kept the ball from finding the back of the net with Limbikani Mzava clearing off the line to keep their noses in front.

Walters was again up to the task to deny Billiat on 78 minutes, getting a hand to the wingers header before gathering at the second attempt.

Tukane should've doubled Aces' lead with nine minutes of regulation time remaining.

Manyama spearheaded a counter and with Aces outnumbering 'Downs three to one the attacker squared to his teammate who had only the keeper to beat, but Mweene stood tall to pull off a world class save, subsequently keeping the visitors in the game.

Pitso Mosimane's men though were unable to find the equaliser as Aces held on for a famous win.

Black Aces (1) 1 (Ngalo 37')

Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 0


Black Aces: Mabokgwane; Kobola, Ngalo, Mzava, Nonyane, Matsi, Khuboni, Tukane, Ngoma (Walters 45+4'), Manyama (S.Masina 90+1'), Mbesuma (Jayiya 57')

Mamelodi Sundowns: Mweene; S.Zwane, Nthethe, Mphahlele, Mashaba, Zungu (Ngele 50'), Modise, T.Zwane (Laffor 67'), Dolly (Kekana 51'), Billiat, Malajila