Mendieta hands Sundowns late win over Richards Bay

Mamelodi Sundowns secured a narrow 1-0 victory over Richards Bay in a DStv Premiership match played at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Tuesday night.

The hard-fought victory saw Masandawana extend their lead to 11 points atop the league standings and they will now lock horns with Tanzania's Young Africans in the CAF Champions League quarterfinal second-leg clash on Friday.

The Natal Rich Boys, on the other hand, remained in the relegation playoff spot (15th) and coach Vusumuzi Vilakazi's side will be desperate to bounce back to winning ways when they square off with Moroka Swallows on Saturday.

Although Masandawana saw most of the ball in the opening stages, it was the Natal Rich Boys who registered the first shot on target. Khuda Muyaba's left-footed strike was saved by goalkeeper Denis Onyango 18 minutes into the encounter.

Sundowns pushed for the opening, but they were frustrated by Richards Bay's stubborn defence. Bathusi Aubaas had a goal-bound shot blocked in the 22nd minute after combining with Sipho Mbule and the score was 0-0 during the halftime break in Pretoria.

With his side struggling to penetrate Richards Bay's defence and create clear-cut chances, coach Rhulani Mokwena introduced Siyabonga Mabena. The 17-year-old created a great chance for Neo Maema in the 87th minute, but keeper Salim Magoola produced a fine save to deny the latter.

The Natal Rich Boys were under siege in the dying minutes of the match and they conceded in stoppage time. Sphelele Mkhulise delivered a sublime cross which was headed home by Junior Mendieta to hand Sundowns a late 1-0 victory over Richards Bay on the night.

Sundowns (0) 1 (Mendieta 90'+4)

Richards Bay (0)

Sundowns: Onyango, Mdunyelwa, Mashego (Seabi 75'), Mvala, Aubaas, Mkhulise, Maboe (Mabena 71'), Mbule, Esquivel (Mendieta 62'), Matthews (Nku 61'), Sirino (Maema 62').

Richards Bay: Magoola, Mabuya, Ndaba, Mthethwa, Mcineka (Dube 46'), Dlamini, Mhlongo (Malepe 87'), Makhubela (M. Mthembu 63'), Muyaba (Mbuthuma 56'), Barns, Ntsundwana (Mabua 87').