Champions Sundowns earn routine win over Chippa United at Loftus
CAPE TOWN – Champions Mamelodi Sundowns opened a five-point gap at the top of the DStv Premiership standings following a 2-0 win over hapless Chippa United at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Chippa who had shown excellent form coming into the match will remain in 13th slot.
The players were greeted by a wet and slippery pitch which had taken a battering 24 hours earlier in the Currie Cup final. The pre-match rain helped to deteriorate the playing surface even more, and players battled to find fluency at the start.
Sundowns showed far more common sense and nous in the marshy conditions and by the end of the first half, they should have been at least four goals up, rather than lead 2-0.
One of the league's leading goalscorers Peter Shalulile was the provider for both goals, scored by Lebohang Maboe (22nd minute) and Gaston Sirino (38).
A convincing team performance secures 3️⃣ points and ensures we reach the halfway stage of the season at the front of the pack! 👊— Mamelodi Sundowns FC (@Masandawana) January 31, 2021
Mamelodi Sundowns (23' Maboe, 38' Sirino) 2️⃣➖0️⃣ Chippa United #Sundowns #DownsLive #DStvPrem pic.twitter.com/B2ywioS0tb
Striker Kermit Erasmus missed a sitter by his standards in a one-on-one with Chippa keeper goalkeeper Ayanda Mtshali, and Sirino should have had a brace by the break.
Chippa showed scant regard for the spoiling conditions, and they produced some delightful passages of play on the back of a crisp inter-passing game which was devoid of an obvious plan. Their play lacked spark, and all too often, they tried to launch attacks from deep options and then turned over possession.
Chippa coach Dan Malesela was frustrated by the lack of a sense of urgency in his ranks and resorted to a double substitution just past the half-hour mark. Augustine Kwem replaced Avela Cezu, and a minute later Thabiso Lebitso joined the fray at the expense of Gregory Damons.
When second-half play resumed, it was one-way traffic, and Chippa's defence was under constant pressure. In the opening nine minutes, Chippa's defence survived thrice, and Sundowns were unable to convert three chances.
Desperate Malesela again made a double substitution in an effort to turn his side's fortunes around. It did little to provide a much-needed spark to Chippa's play.
Sundowns on the other hand were enjoying total dominance, but they failed to add to their first-half brace in a 15min spell when they spurned at least four scoring chances while camping the opposition goalmouth.
In the 70th minute, Sundowns made a triple substitution and the fresh legs failed to bring a change of fortunes in front of the opposition’s goal.
Despite a dominant second half, Sundowns were forced to sign off goalless in the second stanza and had to settle for a 2-0 win.