Sundowns keep in touch with Chiefs

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iol spt mar16 Sundowns Gallo Images Golden Arrows can do the improbable by upsetting star-studded Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup this weekend, according to interim coach Shaun Bartlett. Picture: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Pretoria – Mamelodi Sundowns kept in touch with log-leading Kaizer Chiefs with a 1-0 win over Polokwane City in a Premiership clash at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday evening.

Teko Modise netted the only goal of the game in the 17th minute to hand Pitso Mosimane a nervy three points when Sundowns could have converted plenty more.

Chiefs edged Orlando Pirates earlier in the day, momentarily going nine points clear at the top, but Sundowns ensured they kept pace with the log-leading Soweto giants, thanks to Modise's early strike which cut Amakhosi's advantage back to six.

Sundowns wasted little time in going on the offensive, searching forward in the ninth minute as Ramagalela forced a last-ditch diving save from goalkeeper Modiri Marumo, who had to get low down to keep out the striker's crafty back-heel.

The Brazilians were looking unstoppable and on 17 minutes, the home side took the lead as Modise toed home a rebounded block off the line.

Skipper Surprise Moriri was integral as he controlled a ball inside the area, before crushing a shot straight at goal, only to be denied by a block off the line, which allowed Modise to poke home for the opener.

Sundowns enjoyed the majority of the possession and kept up the pressure, with long-range specialist Hlompho Kekana hammering an effort goalwards on the stroke of half-time, but Marumo was equal to the task, pulling off a brave stop against the thunderous attempt.

Holding a slender lead at the break, Sundowns sought a second and 10 minutes after the interval Lebohang Mokoena had a glorious chance to add a second when he was put through on goal.

Mokoena made a run with the ball at his feet, but at the vital moment, the midfielder failed to take his chance and was denied by Marumo from a one-on-one situation, Marumo saving down low to keep his side in with a shout.

Sundowns would have been disappointed with their performance in front of goal as the game edged towards its conclusion, with Anthony Laffor, Mokoena and Moriri all firing high and wide of the goal.

At the other end, goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands, who was anonymous for the majority of the game, was forced into making his first real save on 71 minutes, diving to his right to keep out a City header.

The hosts did enough, however, and walked away with the points, while City remain dangerously close to the relegation zone, sitting just four points ahead of basement side Golden Arrows. – Sapa

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