Johannesburg – Mamelodi Sundowns secured a much-need league win when they out-played Moroka Swallows in a 2-0 victory at the Dobsonville Stadium on Wednesday night.
It was by no means an easy three points, but Sundowns, led by the industry and energy of Teko Modise in midfield, were prepared to battle hard for what was a deserved win.
The first half was an evenly balanced affair, the two sides pushing and probing at one another, but failing to create many clear-cut chances inside the box.
Sundowns made the brighter start, but their best chances saw Mario Booysen heading wide of goal from a Modise free-kick, Modise also curling a shot into the arms of Swallows keeper Greg Etafia.
As the game moved towards the half-hour mark, it remained an evenly balanced contest, although Etafia was fortunate to see Tsietso Mahoa clearing the ball off his own line after he failed to gather an aerial ball.
Five minutes before the break Modise had a wonderful chance to open the scoring, but having shown some superb skill to skip through the Birds defence, he slashed his parting shot wide of goal from a tight angle.
The Brazilians started the second half with a lot of purpose, showing some good interplay, although they still lacked the killer instinct inside the box.
But there was to be no denying the current PSL champions when Niang controlled Ramahlwe Mphahlele's near-post cross before slotting in a close range effort past Etafia after 52 minutes.
Modise could have doubled the lead just nine minutes later, but having found himself clean through on goal after some sloppy Swallows defence, he saw his attempted lob blocked by Etafia, who stood up tall to make the save.
With Lerato Chabangu pushed further forward into attack, Swallows were always good for a goal, the Bafana midfielder forcing Downs keeper Kennedy Mweene into a smart save with a stinging long range effort in the 74th minute.
The hosts' hopes of mounting a comeback suffered a blow in the 80th minute when youngster Lantshene Phalane went for an early shower after picking up a second yellow card.
It was then the irrepressible Modise, who set up Sundowns' second goal, after he stole the ball off a Swallows defender, which eventually led to debutant Kudakwashe Mahachi scoring with a clinical low drive seven minutes from time to seal the win. – Sapa