Pretoria – Khama Billiat scored his first goal for Mamelodi Sundowns to hand the hosts a 2-1 victory over Bidvest Wits in a Premiership clash at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.
Having joined from Ajax Cape Town before the new season, the Zimbabwean international had started every game since the start of the Premiership campaign.
He was rewarded for his good showing with the winner against a Wits side that were unbeaten prior to Saturday's defeat.
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.
A bright start for the hosts led to Billiat's early effort which went narrowly wide, before Cuthbert Malajila forced a good stop from Moeneeb Josephs six minutes later.
However, the Brazilians were not to be denied a minute later, as Schut's powerful header broke the deadlock from Billiat's corner set-piece in the 14th minute.
Schut lost his marker inside the area and connected Billiat's delivery from dead in front to take the advantage early on.
Wits, however, hit back straight away through Gibeto, who scored his second goal in as many matches midway through the half.
Papy Faty thundered a superb volley goalwards, forcing Kennedy Mweene into a solid save low down.
The Zambian goalkeeper parried his shot straight into the path of Gibeto, who slotted home unopposed and into an empty net.
The Clever Boys enjoyed much of the early possession in the second period as Sundowns were restricted to their own territory, allowing the visitors to get shots away at regular intervals, but none troubled Mweene.
Against the run of play, Billiat sent the Brazilians back into the lead when he rounded-off an excellent build-up.
Bryce Moon's enterprising play was followed up by a superb touch from Bongani Zungu to put Billiat through on goal.
Billiat's initial shot was well stopped by an advancing Josephs, but the former Ajax player kept his cool, collected the ball from under his feet and netted Sundowns' second in composed fashion.
Mweene remained resilient at the back and kept his side in the lead following two saves late in the game, as Wits' hopes of salvaging a point began to fade.
Wits pushed for the equaliser but Sundowns' back four held on for a nervy last 20 minutes to see out their victory for a commanding position near the top of the table. – Sapa