Johannesburg — Peter Shalulile scored a second successive league hat-trick as Mamelodi Sundowns’ strolled to a 6-0 win over Golden Arrows in a DStv Premiership clash at Loftus Versfeld in Tshwane on Tuesday afternoon.
The Namibian hitman’s three goals on Tuesday saw him become the first player to score 21 league goals for the club.
Shalulile's historic scoring spree also surpassed the record of 20 league goals that were scored by Siyabonga Nomvethe during the 2011/2012 season, while he’s four goals shy of matching the record by Collins Mbesuma, who scored 25 league goals during the 2004/05 season.
Sundowns’ comfortable win over Arrows at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Tuesday afternoon meant that they are just five points away from winning a record fifth title in a row.
The Brazilians have been so good that they’ve scored 22 goals in their last five matches in all competitions, making their chase for an unprecedented quadruple more likely than ever.
Sundowns lead the league charts with 14 points, while they are in the CAF Champions League quarter-final, where they’ll meet Petro de Luanda and in the Nedbank Cup semi-final, where they’ll face Royal AM.
They have already won the MTN8.
The Brazilians came into this match having hammered amateur side Summerfield Dynamos by 5-0 in the Nedbank Cup quarter-final on this ground.
After resting some of their key players, including Shalulile and Themba Zwane, during their tie against Dynamos, Sundowns were expected to be given a run for their money by the top-eight chasing Arrows.
However, that wasn’t the case.
When the whistle blew for half-time, the champions were already home and dry, having long converted this match into a training session as they were 3-0 up.
Gaston Sirino opened the scoring spree for the Brazilians. George Maluleka whipped a telling diagonal ball that found an overlapping Mosa Lebusa who managed to bring down the highball before the Uruguayan tapped home the resultant pass.
This was Sirino’s second goal in as many matches. However, one person who’ll be thrilled with his contribution is Maluleka.
The 33-year-old is enjoying a new breath of life at the club, having made his third start in the last four games where he contributed with one goal and two assists.
But the first half belonged to Shalulile as he climbed to 20 league goals, equalling Nomvethe's league tally, with five games to spare.
In his first goal of the afternoon, Shalulile rose high in the box to connect with a well taken Lyle Lakay corner-kick as he headed past Nkosingiphile Gumede.
The Brazilians strolled towards the third goal as Bradley Ralani released Zwane on the edge before the latter unleashed a cut-back pass that found Shalulile who rattled home his second goal of the night.
Shalulile’s milestone demanded recognition as the entire Sundowns’ bench and the handful that filled the stands gave the Namibian a standing ovation.
Shalulile and Co. didn’t put the foot off the pedal in the second half as they continued to inflict more misery on Arrows.
The Namibian scored the fourth goal after capitalising on Thabani Zuke’s slip at the back, before Pavol Safranko and Kermit Erasmus came off the bench to put the final nails in the coffin.
Sundowns’ next match is away to Petro in the first leg of the quarter-final on Saturday.