Cape Town - Mpumalanga Black Aces played the entire second-half with
10-men, but did enough to beat Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 in their Absa Premiership
clash at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Tuesday evening.
Zamuxolo Ngalo handed AmaZayoni the lead, but the hosts were
dealt a blow soon after with Jackson Mabokgwane receiving his marching orders
for a cynical challenge outside the area.
Aces though managed to hold on despite continuous pressure
from the Brazilians and as a result climb to the top of the table.
Both teams had chances early on with Aubrey Ngoma shooting
wide for the hosts before Thabo Nthethe saw his header from close range fail to
hit the target.
Teko Modise picked out the former Bloemfontein Celtic
skipper at the back post, having peeled away from his marker, Nthethe would've
been disappointed to see his attempt float wide on 12 minutes.
Nthethe had another chance just after the half-hour mark,
latching onto a free-kick by Modise - with Mabokgwane stranded the Bafana
Bafana stopper was lucky to see the ball fly wide.
Having seen the Brazilians go close through a succession of
set-pieces, Aces opened the scoring through a corner-kick of their own. Aces
skipper Ngalo got in at the near post before nodding Tshidiso Tukane's cross
past Kennedy Mweene who had no chance.
Seemingly in control with the interval looming, Mabokgwane
opened the door for Sundowns after he brought down Cuthbert Malajila outside
the area - the referee left with no choice but to brandish the red card.
Substitute goalkeeper Shu-aib Walters had to be on his toes
from the onset with the former Maritzburg number one keeping out Modise's
free-kick to send the hosts into the break 1-0 up.
Walters was called into action once again just before the
hour mark - this time the Aces gloveman did well to save at Billiat's feet
after the Zimbabwean skipped past a couple of Aces defenders.
Aces should've doubled their advantage through Tukane on 81
minutes. With 'Downs swarming forward, the hosts countered through Lebogang
The on-loan attacker put it on a plate for his team-mate, but
Mweene kept a cool head to pull off a wonderful save.
Sundowns aimed to captalise on the lifeline handed to them
by the Zambian stopper through Nthethe who had another chance late on, but
Walters was up to the task as Aces claimed a memorable scalp.