Aces end Sundowns' run
Clifford Mulenga (Gallo Images)
Mbombela - Black Aces have ended Mamelodi Sundowns’ winning run in the PSL when they beat them 1-0 at the Mbombela Stadium on Wednesday night.
Clifford Mulenga scored the only goal of the match early in the first half and it proved to be the decider as the home side held on for the win.
Both sides threatened as early as the fifth minute with Ofentse Nato sending his header over the crossbar from close range, while Cuthbert Malajila stung Bafana Nhlapo’s palms.
Aces broke the deadlock in the 10th minute from a quick break with Thabo Qalinge releasing Mulenga, who calmly placed his shot past Kennedy Mweene.
Mulenga almost netted his second goal of the match two minutes later but this time his low effort came off the upright.
Katlego Mashego should have done better at the other end in the 14th minute when he was picked out by Malajila inside the box but he delayed his shot, allowing Mbulelo Mabizela to make a crucial block.
The former Moroka Swallows striker forced his way into the penalty area on the left three minutes later, but this time he was denied by a low block from Nhlapo.
Nhlapo made two more great saves before the break to preserve his side’s lead, parrying a volleyed shot from Thabo Langerman in the 37th minute, before keeping out another effort from Rashid Sumaila three minutes later.
The second half saw less in the way of clear-cut chances but it was the visitors who bossed the ball possession and pushed men forward.
The first chance fell for Modise in the 59th minute when he tried to catch Nhlapo with a long range effort, but the Aces goalkeeper was able to turn the ball around the post.
Nine minutes later Bryce Moon made a good run towards the byline before squaring the ball for Langerman, but his poor first touch saw Nhlapo coming off his line to smother the ball.
Qalinge had a rare opportunity for the hosts in the 81st minute with an effort from long range but his shot was saved by Mweene.
The win moves Aces up to 9th place with 14 points, while Sundowns remain in first place with 23 points from 11 matches. Scorers:Black Aces:
(1) (Mulenga 10’)Mamelodi Sundowns:
0 Teams:Black Aces:
Nhlapo, Kobola, Mabizela, Nato, Hendricks, Ngobeni, Zuke (Mtsweni 73’), Ngalo, Qalinge, Mulenga (Kgatla 85’), Okonkwo (Masina 65’) Mamelodi Sundowns:
Mweene, Langerman (Henyekane 77’), Schut (Arendse 46’), Moon, Sumaila, Nyandoro, Kekana (Pelembe 57’), Shongwe, Modise, Malajila, Mashego