Sundowns keep seven-point lead

Two early goals by Mzikayise Mashaba and Hlompho Kekana ensured Mamelodi Sundowns bounced back to winning ways as they beat Black Aces 2-1 at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday night.

The victory keeps Pitso Mosimane's men on top of the Absa Premiership standings with 49 points and, on the other hand, AmaZayoni remain at number four with 36 points.

With the hosts chasing their win over AmaZayoni, Khama Billiat was a menace for Mushin Ertugral's men.

The Zimbabwean made a great run down the right flank, beating Thabo Nonyane before crossing for the onrushing Mzikayise Mahaba, who finished in the fifth minute.

A few minutes later, an exchange of wonderful passes on the right edge of the box saw Kekana receiving the ball and taking a grass cutter to beat Shu-Aib Walters, making it 2-0 for the hosts.

In the 12th minute, Billiat tried a long range curler from the left but he missed the top corner, and after 15 minutes of action Collins Mbesuma made a great turn in the box but his shot went over the cross bar.

Despite dominance by the Brazilians, AmaZayoni tried to push forward and Mukuka Mulenga's attempt in the 29th minute nearly beat Onyango as it went over.

In their follow-up, Aubrey Modiba forced a good save from the Ugandan keeper when he saw his well driven shot tipped over by the net minder in the 24th minute.

Despite AmaZayoni's attempts to pull one back, it was 1-0 at half time and the Nelspruit-based side came back better and enjoyed possession.

Although they failed to create clear-cut chances, their good opportunity came in the 75th minute when Onyango was forced to produce a double save to deny Ngoma and Khuboni.

Two minutes later, substitute Sibusiso Masina nearly beat Onyango from close range in the box but his shot went over the woodwork.

With six minutes to go, the Brazilians' bench introduced Anthony Laffor and Katlego Mashego for Billiat and Keagan Dolly. Immediately Mashaba nearly made it three when he made a fantastic run only to see his shot denied by the crossbar.

In the dying minutes of the encounter, defender Ashraf Hendricks received a sweet cross from Nonyane and his powerful header sailed over the bar.

However, in injury time, Mpho Matsi pulled one back for the visitors from a header at the far post.

Mamelodi Sundowns (2) 2 (Mashaba 6', Kekana 9')
Mpumalanga Black Aces: (0) 1 (Matsi 90')

Sundowns: Onyango, Arendse, Langerman, Nthethe, Mbekile, Dolly (Laffor 84'), Mashaba, Soumahoro, Zwane T (Mokoea 89'), Billiat (Mashego 84'), Kekana

Aces: Walters, Moon (Kobola 29'), Mzava, Hendricks, Nonyane, Ngoma, Matsi, Khuboni, Modiba (Mbatha 56'), Mulenga (Masina 56'), Mbesuma