10-man Sundowns secure routine DStv Premiership win over Sekhukhune United
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Durban — Runaway DStv Premiership log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns returned to winning ways with a comfortable 2-0 win against Sekhukhune United at the Tuks Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The win will be welcome to Downs after they played out to successive draws against SuperSport United and Cape Town City prior to the game.
Neo Maema opened the scoring for Masandawana in the 20th minute, notching his second goal in two games with a calmly slotted effort into the back of the net from close range.
The goal came after Khuliso Mudau sent in a set-piece towards the far post and Peter Shalulile got in a header to send the ball towards Maema who confidently finished.
Themba Zwane slotted home Sundowns’ second goal in the 57th minute from the penalty spot after Nyiko Mobbie was judged to have handed the ball in the area. The penalty came after Mobbie made contact with the ball as Maema teed in Peter Shalulile whose shot made contact with the midfielder.
Zwane sent Toaster Nsabata the wrong way from the spot but replays showed that the ball actually struck the chest of Mobbie, hence the penalty should have not been awarded.
The first half could be described as total domination for Sundowns as Sekhukhune struggled to maintain the ball for sustained periods of time.
There was an ugly incident in the 12th minute as Pavol Šafranko, Toaster Nsabata and Edwin Gyimah all collided while trying to make contact with the ball after a Maema cross. Fortunately for both teams, all the players were fine after the short stoppage in play.
After scoring their opening goal, Downs appeared to be slowing down their tempo in order to manage the game as they sensed that the opposition was not causing much threat.
In the two times that Sekhukhune did manage to launch attacking surges in the first half, they were forced into a tight angle or simply outdone by the Sundowns defence as Mudau produced a solid challenge to halt a goalward charge from Chibuike Ohizu just after 30 minutes.
In an attempt to find an equalizer, Sekhukhune attempted to employ a more aggressive approach to their play in the second half.
Sekhukhune’s performance in the second half was improved as they did launch more attacking passages of play with Cheslyn Jampies forcing Dennis Onyango into a sharp save following a shot from range after 70 minutes.
Onyango was handed his marching orders in the 85th minute after coming out of his box and poorly tackling Tshediso Patjie. The situation was created after Mosa Lebusa sent a poorly timed back-pass towards Onyango which was picked up by Patjie.
The red-card completed a nightmarish week for Onyango whose howlers allowed SuperSport United to earn a draw against Sundowns earlier in the week.
Sundowns back-up goalie Kennedy Mweene subsequently completed the final minutes of the game, replacing Haashim Domingo.
Sundowns' next game will be an away clash against Stellenbosch FC at the Danie Craven Stadium next Saturday. Sekhukhune will next be up against SuperSport United.