Sundowns triumph in Tshwane derby, reclaim top spot

Mamelodi Sundowns claimed a 2-0 win over Tshwane derby rivals SuperSport United at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday evening and returned to the top of the DStv Premiership standings.

The Brazilians, who had not played in the domestic league since late September, were leapfrogged at the head of the table by Cape Town City this past weekend, but goals from Peter Shalulile and Lucas Ribeiro helped them to a ninth successive Premiership win since the start of the season – a new PSL record.

‘Downs lead the way with a full haul of 27 points from nine matches, while City are pushed back to second with 25 points from 13 matches. Matsatsantsa, who have now lost three in succession across all competitions, remain in third on 23 points from 13 matches.

Sundowns bossed possession in the early minutes, but SuperSport looked the more dangerous team with their hard-running and higher intensity, creating a couple of half chances for Ghampani Lungu and Bradley Grobler.

Yet around the half-hour mark the champions clicked into a higher gear, with a counter attack presenting a chance for Lebohang Maboe which he somewhat shanked, allowing Grant Margeman to make a clearance off the goal line.

And on 31 minutes the Brazilians went ahead via Shalulile, who had barely touched the ball up to that point but had the poise and class to divert Maboe’s cross past United goalkeeper Washington Arubi for 1-0.

Matsatsantsa went on the search for an equaliser before halftime, but were dealt a killer blow in injury time before the break when Sundowns scored a second.

A dead-ball routine straight from the training field was perfectly executed, with Neo Maema disguising a clever ball onto the chest of Lucas Ribeiro, who then fired home a volley to put the visitors in full control at 2-0 up.

Sundowns should have added to their advantage seven minutes into the second stanza when Maema teed up Maboe, but the latter fluffed his lines with a poor first touch followed by an awkward attempted finish which skewed wide of the target.

Midway through the half, Shalulile had a great chance to rack up a brace when substitute Khuliso Mudau found him free in the middle of the box, but the Namibian’s effort on the half-turn flashed over the crossbar.

SuperSport had a couple of promising moments via 18-year-old substitute Shandre Campbell, but struggled to offer the same level of threat they managed early in the game, allowing the Brazilians to cruise to another victory.

Sundowns will be back in Premiership action next midweek, with a clash away to AmaZulu, while SuperSport’s next league match is away to Moroka Swallows on December 15. Both Tshwane teams will be in CAF club action this coming weekend.

SuperSport United 0

Mamelodi Sundowns (2) 2 (Shalulile 31’, Ribeiro 45+1’)

SuperSport: Arubi, Johannes (Campbell 58’), Okon, Hlatshwayo, Pfumbidzai (Moralo 58’), Lungu, Margeman, Hamza (Baloyi 84’), Lakay, Dzvukamanja (Albert 84’), Grobler

Sundowns: Williams, De Reuck (Mudau 46’), B. Onyango, Lebusa, Morena (Mokoena 46’), Mkhulise, Maema, Mashego (Ngobeni 89’), Maboe, Ribeiro (Zwane 64’), Shalulile (Sirino 78’)