CAPE TOWN – Mamelodi Sundowns beat SuperSport United 2-0 without having to build up too much of a sweat in the opening league fixture of the 2019/20 Premiership season at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
With speculation regarding head coach Pitso Mosimane's future at the club and a couple of injury issues to deal with, it had not been an ideal build-up to the match for Sundowns.
But it was the Brazilians who were to dominate the majority of the game, showing more purpose and posing a greater threat in attack compared to their city rivals, with a fantastic 23rd minute strike from Sibusiso Vilakazi and a Themba Zwane goal right at the end of the game earning them a deserved maximum point haul.
Downs were at it from the start and it took two outstanding saves from Ronwen Williams – the first at the feet of Zwane and the second an unbelievable effort to keep out a Hlompho Kekana piledriver, to prevent SuperSport from going behind within the opening 18 minutes.
There wasn't much, however, Williams could do when Vilakazi connected beautifully with his left foot to score from 30-yards out, the ball hitting the crossbar before crossing the goal line.
Apart from a Bradley Grobler shot, fired straight at Denis Onyango, SuperSport rarely threatened.
At the other end, Williams remained busy and pulled off another two saves, either side of half time, to keep out Thapelo Morena as well a stinging shot from distance from Kekana.
With 25 minutes to play, Onyango was called back into action when he reacted sharply to block Kudakwashe Mahachi's close range shot.
That was to signal a bit of an upturn in the SuperSport attack, and Onyango again did very well to make a point blank save on Bradley Grobler's 77th minute effort.
Sundowns, however, were able to retain their composure and as the game went into the 90th minute, a swift counter-attack ended with Morena running clean in on goal before unselfishly teeing up Zwane, who coolly slotted in a low angled shot to seal the victory.
African News Agency (ANA)