Mamelodi Sundowns back to winning ways

Mamelodi Sundowns returned to winning form in the Absa Premiership with a 2-1 victory over hosts Bloemfontein Celtic at the Dr Molemela Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Brazilians, who had drawn their last two league games, secured a three-point haul thanks to goals from Mosa Lebusa and Themba Zwane. Phunya Sele Sele scored a late consolation through Motebang Sera.

The first clear chance arrived in the 15th minute and went the way of Sundowns, with Tebogo Langerman arriving late in the box to meet a low cross from the right flank, but he was unable to direct his shot on target.

Yet just two minutes later the Brazilians went ahead: Hlompo Kekana fired a swerving long-range shot which rebounded off the upright and fell for defender Mosa Lebusa, who steered the ball under the body of goalkeeper Mondli Mpoto to make it 1-0 to the visitors.

‘Downs should have doubled their lead just before the break when they stole possession high up the field and Sibusiso Vilakazi was put in on goal, but his low shot was saved by Mpoto to ensure the Tshwane side held only a one-goal lead at halftime.

Celtic made a swap at the start of the second half, replacing Menzi Masuku with Ramasimong Maloisane, but Sundowns earned a penalty soon after the restart for a clumsy foul from Tshepo Rikhotso on Kekana. Themba Zwane converted from the spot make it 2-0 in the 50th minute.

The midfielder nearly grabbed a second goal in the 74th minute, sending a long range curler toward the top corner, but Mpoto made an excellent save the palm the ball over the top of the crossbar.

Celtic were awarded a life line in the dying minutes when Andile Jali handled in the box and the hosts were awarded a penalty. Substitute Motebang Sera took on the responsibility and coolly scored from the spot to reduce the deficit in the 87th minute.

However, there was to be no comeback for Phunya Sele Sele, with ‘Downs able to see out the rest of the game and secure a 2-1 victory.

Sundowns will be in MTN8 action this weekend when they face Tshwane rivals SuperSport United in the first leg of their semifinal, while Celtic have to wait until September 15 to return to domestic duties when they host Stellenbosch in a league clash.

Bloemfontein Celtic (0) 1 (Sera pen 87’)

Mamelodi Sundowns (1) 2 (Lebusa 17’, Zwane 50’ pen)

Celtic: Mpoto, Baloyi, Mahashe, Rikhotso, Pfumbidzai, Masuku (Maloisane 46’), Mashikinya, Luthuli, Potsane (Fikizolo 79’), Tchilimbou (Sera 71’), Mabena

Sundowns: Onyango, Ngcongca, Madisha, Lebusa, Langerman, Seabi, Kekana, Zwane (Arendse 90+5’), Sirino (Lakay 82’), Vilakazi (Jali 68’), Maboe