RUSTENBURG – Mamelodi Sundowns registered a 1-0 win over struggling Platinum Stars in an Absa Premiership fixture at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Sunday.
Sundowns made the early running and netted the all-important winning goal in the second minute with a good finish from Khama Billiat.
Soon after, there was another opportunity when Percy Tau opened things up for Sibusiso Vilkazi, but the attacker failed to make the most of the chance.
The Pretoria club proceeded to produce some neat passages of play, impressing with the simple yet brutally effective rhythm of their passing game.
Billiat could have increased Sundowns’ advantage in the 40th minute, but his goal-bound shot was saved by Stars goalkeeper Mbongeni Mzimela.
Two minutes later, it was again the energetic Billiat causing the opposition defence problems, and again it needed Mzimela’s intervention to prevent the Zimbabwean winger from adding to the tally.
Stars were under the cosh for most of the opening 45 minutes, and were fortunate to go into the break just a goal down.
The status quo continued in the second half, with Sundowns pressing for another goal, while Stars had to be content with hoping for something on the break.
Tebogo Langerman tried his luck from range, but his attempt was fired straight at Mzimela.
Billiat and Tau continued to terrorise the Stars defence, but the final pass always seemed to elude the Pretoria club.
There was also an opportunity when captain Hlompho Kekana thundered in a free-kick, but again Mzimela was alert to punch the ball clear.
At the other end, Stars weren’t producing all that much from an offensive perspective, with the only real chance a shot from Robert Ng’ambi which flew high over the bar.
Ng’ambi also had to make his presence felt in his own box when a goalmouth scramble nearly saw Sundowns score, but the Stars midfielder was able to hoof the ball clear of the goal-line.
Stars tried their utmost in the closing stages to find an equaliser, but couldn’t find a way through the Sundowns defence.
African News Agency (ANA)