Pretoria – Following his side's hard-fought 2-1 Premiership victory over Bidvest Wits in Pretoria on Saturday evening, Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane says he is relieved at getting a win which puts them in a commanding position near the top of the league standings.
Khama Billiat scored his first goal for Mamelodi Sundowns after joining from Ajax Cape Town before the start of the new season.
The Zimbabwean international had started every game since the start of the Premiership campaign and was rewarded for his good showing with the winner against a Wits side that were unbeaten prior to Saturday's defeat at Loftus Versfeld.
“It was one of the longest 45 minutes I've experienced… it was tough,” Mosimane said of a nervy second half which saw Sundowns cling on for their third win of the season.
“We did what we had to do to win the game.
“I think we got our midfield right in the second half. What's important is that we scored goals.”
While Wits suffered their first loss, Sundowns extended their run to five games without defeat, after skipper Alje Schut put the hosts ahead from a corner, before Getaneh Gibeto scored the equaliser for Wits seven minutes later.
Billiat then stole the points for Sundowns in the 58th with a cool finish to open his account for his new employers.
“We scored last week, we scored today… we're scoring and I told the guys that we have a team that's capable of scoring, so we need to keep clean-sheets now,” Mosimane added.
“It's not easy, but we got the result. We played against a very strong team and they have strong individuals.
“Last week against Ajax we opened the floodgates but today we had to do what we had to do.
The victory puts the Brazilians in second position on the log on 11 points, level with SuperSport United – who lead the standings – but have a game in hand over their Pretoria rivals, leaving Mosimane pleased that Sundowns are in a position to take top honours in their next league outing.
“We're keeping up with the big boys, we cannot fall behind and we need to keep in touch,” he said.
“I think we have the capacity to win the league, we're scoring so it's looking good.
“It's not easy because the Sundowns supporters always want a win and they want a good win. We're on course at this point in time.”
Meanwhile Wits boss Gavin Hunt said he was disappointed the result did not go his team's way but added that he was able to draw plenty of positives from the performance.
“I thought we deserved more, we certainly didn't deserve to lose the game, we could have gone on to win the game,” Hunt said.
“But being as it may, there were a lot of positives, we're not happy about the result but I thought it was a good performance.
“I think there were a lot of opportunities for them to score, there's nothing else you can do but it's unfortunate.”
In Saturday's other results, Moroka Swallows were held to a 1-1 stalemate by Maritzburg United at the Dobsonville Satdium, Knowledge Musona came on from the bench to secure Kaizer Chiefs a late 2-1 victory over Platinum Stars, while AmaZulu and SuperSport United played out to a 1-1 draw in Durban. – Sapa