ULUNDI – Mamelodi Sundowns reigned supreme in the Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Legacy Cup on Saturday as they eased past AmaZulu 2-1 at Ulundi Stadium.
The stadium was full to capacity, and the game was delayed for two hours, from 3pm to 5pm, as Sundowns’ flight had a problem as they couldn’t land in Richards Bay, from where they were going to drive to Ulundi for more than two hours.
Usuthu rested most of their key players as they used the match to experiment with their squad.
Important figures such as Moeneeb Josephs, Bongi Ntuli, Emiliano Tade, Mbongeni Gumede and Thembela Sikhakhane were all seated in the stands.
The game presented an opportunity for the likes of Michael Morton, Mhlengi Cele, Siduduzo Dlamini and Siyabonga Nomvethe to impress coach Cavin Johnson.
The Brazilians were without coach Pitso Mosimane, who is Morocco, where he was invited for a coaching course.
Mosimane is on the verge of completing his Caf Pro Licence.
Manqoba Mngqithi took over the reigns on the day, and he opted for a strong line-up that included Jeremy Brockie, Themba Zwane, Oupa Manyisa, Andile Jali and Wayne Arendse.
People stayed behind in the rain as they waited for the rescheduled kickoff.
Lyle Lakay broke the deadlock after 16 minutes with a well-taken free kick which deflected off Sibusiso Mabiliso, and left Energy Murambadoro at a standstill between the sticks as the ball found the back of the net.
Aubrey Ngoma almost doubled the lead for Sundowns, but Phumlani Gumede made an important goal-line clearance to deny the Brazilians.
The legendary Nomvethe was causing all sorts of havoc for Sundowns on the right-hand side with his pace.
Usuthu came close to restoring parity as Nomvethe made his trademark run to set up Dlamini, who shot wide.
The 40-year-old Nomvethe brought energy, exuberance and finesse to Usuthu’s attack, but Sundowns went into the interval leading via Lakay’s solitary strike.
Nomvethe levelled matters from the spot after he was brought down by Arendse in the box two minutes into the second half.
Augustine Ramphele should have put Usuthu in the lead, but the post came to the rescue for Sundowns.
Lack of concentration at the back allowed Brockie to get into space, and he sold a dummy to Gumede and then set up Zwane, who passed into the net with ease to put Sundowns back into the lead.