Shalulile scores again as Downs sink Sekhukhune

Mamelodi Sundowns did the double over Sekhukhune United in the DStv Premiership, following their 2-0 win at the Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg, on Tuesday night.

In what was the first big moment from the match, a swift counter attack from Sekhkhune had Sundowns back-pedalling, however Yusuf Maart was unable to make the most of the move as his effort flew over the bar.

With just over five minutes on the clock, Sekhukhune showcased why they have one of the most impressive defensive records in the DStv Premiership as they stifled a couple of the Sundowns attacks.

As Sundowns regained their composure, the likes of Themba Zwane and Gaston Sirino began ticking in the middle of the park as the champions strung a couple of passing moves together.

Aubrey Modiba provided the visitors with their first big chance of the game as the midfielder received the ball inside the box before his shot went over the upright. Moments later, Sirino nearly benefitted from an error by Maart on the edge of the area, however, the Uruguayan’s shot went wide of the goal.

Downs continued to apply the pressure with clever movement inside the Sekhukhune half, with Sirino pulling the trigger in an effort that narrowly went past the goalkeeper’s right.

Sundowns took the lead in the 27th of the game, courtesy of a thunderbolt from Modiba as he scored his first DStv Premiership goal of the season in stunning fashion. The goal came just minutes after Maart’s dipping free-kick nearly troubled Reyaad Pieterse at the other end of the pitch.

Again, Sekhukhune threatened from a deadball scenario, as a free-kick in the 43rd minute summoned Pieterse to make a stretching save. As the first half drew to a close, Sekhukhune saw more of the ball but was unable to make the most of the rare opportunities.

Babina Noko introduced Willard Katsande into the fold just after the break and started the second half on a positive note.

The free scoring Peter Shalulile nearly scored his 22nd league goal of the season when a glancing header 10 minutes after the break went narrowly wide.

Just after the hour mark, Sundowns rang in the changes with Thabiso Kutumela, Teboho Mokoena and Gift Motupa replacing Neo Maema, Lebohang Maboe and Gaston Sirino respectively.

With about 20 minutes to play, Da Gama added firepower to his side and made a double switch up front as Prince Nxumalo and Justin Shonga stepped onto the pitch.

The Brazilians went with the direct route in the 84th minute of the game as Shalulile came close in adding to his impressive league goal tally.

After numerous attempts, Shalulile finally managed to get his 22nd league goal of the season during the dying embers of the game, as he continues to chase Collins Mbesuma’s league goal record of 25 goals.

Sekhukhune 0
Sundowns (1) 2 (Modiba 27’, Shalulile 90+2’)

Sekhukhune: Nsabata, Mahlangu, Kabwe, Motsepe, Gyimah, Maart, Parusnath (Katsande 46’), Madonsela, Molaba, Mncube(Shonga 78’), Ohizu (Nxumalo 78’).

Sundowns: Pieterse, Mudau, Modiba (Lunga 82'), Lebusa, Kekana, Mkhulise, Maema (Kutumela 67’), Maboe (Mokoena 66’), Sirino (Motupa 67’), Zwane (Maraisane 82’ ), Shalulile.