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Downs crush Santos, tops PSL log

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Mamelodi Sundowns crushed Santos 3-1 in their Premiership match at Lucas Moripe Stadium, Atteridgeville on Sunday.

Mamelodi Sundowns crushed Santos 3-1 in their Premiership match at Lucas Moripe Stadium, Atteridgeville on Sunday.

The win means Sundowns reclaim top spot on the log, tied on 49points with Orlando Pirates but ahead on goal difference.

The hosts bullied Santos from the first whistle and were three goals up after 63 minutes with Nyasha Mushekwi and Hlompho Kekana

both grabbing goals, while the first goal came courtesy of an own-goal from Pere Ariweriyai for the opener.

Three points adrift of log-leaders Pirates coming into the match, Sundowns came out and played a ruthless game, giving the Cape side no chance. The hosts dominated possession and territory from start to finish, and always looked like scoring more.

The Brazilians began the match at a fast pace and Santos looked lethargic in the Atteridgville heat.

With the loss, Santos remain in a desperate relegation battle as they are second from bottom with 23 points from their 26 matches this season.

The home side put in a number of pressing attacks in the first quarter of an hour and were rewarded for their dominant play in the 20th minute. With a surging move up the right, Elias Pelember whipped in a powerful cross that Ariweriyai could not avoid heading into his own net for an own-goal as Sundowns led 1-0.

Santos were forced to settle for the odd counter attack, and did not look confident with the ball.

Sanots conceded a second goal in the 37th minute as Mushekwi added his name to the scoresheet.

Mushekwi continued his fine goal-scoring form after a whipped-in cross from Lebohang Mokoena as he buried a headed attempt from close range to put Sundowns 2-0 up.

Continuing where they left off in the first half, Sundowns had a monopoly on possession and were in goal-scoring mood that ran the Santos players ragged.

In the 63rd minute Sundowns scored their third, that had been coming for some time. Kekana had the beating of the Santos keeper from the left-hand side of the area with a rocket along the ground into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal to make it 3-0.

Mushekwi could have scored his second from close range in the 66th minute but with a defender shadowing the elusive forward, his shot lifted over the target.

Eleazar Rodgers claimed a consolation goal for the visitors in the 77th minute from inside the area, as the crowd fell silent for the first time in the encounter as the strike came against the run of play.

Sundowns will now head to FNB stadium on Wednesday, where they will take on a struggling AmaKhosi. Chiefs will be looking to avoid another embarrassing premiership loss and Sundowns will be heavy favourites for the clash, despite being the away team.

Dutch coach Johan Neeskens will be pleased with his efforts of his team, in his first season in charge. They now have their fate firmly locked in their own hands, and if they win their remaining games, it is unlikely they can be caught with a vastly superior goal difference. – Sapa


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