Sundowns punish Dikwena

Mamelodi Sundowns easily defeated Platinum Stars 3-0 in an Absa Premiership clash at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Saturday evening, with Khama Billiat marking his return with two splendid goals.

The Brazilians have opened a four-point lead at the top of the log as a result of this victory, while Dikwena are placed last and back in danger of being marooned in their battle against relegation.

Sundowns started the stronger of the two teams and created a few half-chances for the likes of Percy Tau and Khama Billiat in the opening quarter hour. And it was no surprise when the Tshwane team claimed the lead on 22 minutes, though the goal itself was an exceptional strike from Sibusiso Vilakazi.

The attacking midfielder picked up the ball just inside the Stars half, drove forward and ended with a perfectly-hit curler into the top corner which gave goalkeeper Dino Visser no chance whatsoever.

And the gloves-man was helpless again 10 minutes later when Khama Billiat doubled Sundowns’ advantage, sending a superb strike direct from a free kick just inside Visser’s right-hand post.

In the 37th minute Billiat added another goal, again direct from a free kick in a very similar position. This time the Zimbabwean’s strike was touched onto the underside of the crossbar by Visser’s fingertips, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the score ticking over to 3-0.

Stars responded by making changes either side of halftime, sending on both Robert Ng’ambi and Bongi Ntuli, but they created little in attack and rarely troubled Sundowns’ defence.

The Brazilians went off the boil compared to their scintillating first-half showing, and not even the introduction of three new signings as second-half substitutes - Aubrey Ngoma, Gaston Sirino and Jeremy Brockie - could put them back in top gear.

But having already done the hard work, ‘Downs were able to coast home and claim three well-earned points.

Mamelodi Sundowns (3) 3 (Vilakazi 22’, Billiat 32’ 37’)

Platinum Stars 0

Teams:

Mamelodi Sundowns: Onyango, Madisha, Soumahoro, Nascimento, Langerman, T. Zwane (Brockie 81’), Manyisa, Mabunda, Billat (Ngoma 63’), Vilakazi (Sirino 72’), Tau

Platinum Stars: Visser, Mere, Mthethwa, Sithole, Mpeta, Mekoa (De Jongh 83’), Mbatha (Ng’ambi 44’), Msomi, Mkhabela (Ntuli 46’), Rambuwane, Koapeng