'Downs nail down second spot

2015-05-06 21:53
Khama Billiat and Katlego Mashego (Gallo Images)

Pretoria - Mamelodi Sundowns have assured themselves CAF Champions League football for next season following Wednesday's 2-1 win over Tshwane rivals SuperSport United at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.

Katlego Mashego fired the Brazilians ahead just three minutes into the encounter, although Matsatsantsa didn't trail for long as Jeremy Brockie restored parity midway through the first half.

However, Sundowns went back in front just after the hour mark through Mzikayise Mashaba to make sure of the win, which left the side with an unassailable five-point lead in second with just one game remaining.

The visitors came out the blocks flying and went ahead in the opening few minutes, Mashego heading home from Anthony Laffor's delivery into the penalty area, and it could have been two after 10 minutes but Teko Modise could only fire a free-kick from a dangerous position into the wall.

United were soon back on level terms, though, Brockie racking up his seventh league goal in his debut season in South Africa, sweeping home past the goalkeeper after being played in by Thuso Phala.

Mashego looked to restore Sundowns' lead before the break but could only fire straight at Ronwen Williams, while Phala's effort at the other end flashed just wide of the mark.

It didn't take long after the restart for Pitso Mosimane's men to put themselves back in front, though, with Khama Billiat linking up with Mashaba, who made no mistake to fire his shot into the back of the net.

Mashego continued plugging away from his brace but saw a fierce strike well blocked by Innocent Mkhabela, while Brockie wasted a good chance at the other end after heading over the crossbar.

The fouls started mounting in the final quarter of the tie as SuperSport went in search of another equaliser, although Billiat was the closest to adding to the scoring in stoppage time, but Williams was just able to save with his feet, although the damage had already been done as United sit just one point clear in the top eight heading into the final round of Premiership fixtures on Saturday.


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