Downs sink Arrows
Pretoria -Wiith nothing at stake Mamelodi Sundowns wrapped up their Absa Premiership programme with a routine 3-0 win over Golden Arrows at the Super Stadium in Atteridgeville on Saturday.
Before the last round of league fixtures on Saturday Downs were guaranteed runners up place to their Pretoria City rivals and three times champions SuperSport United. Both Pretoria clubs will compete in the African Champions League in 2011.
Arrows were condemned to a mid-table finish no matter what the outcome of the match.
Downs star striker Katlego Mphela won the Golden Boot award when he notched his 18th goal of the league season in the 42nd minute and then laid on the second goal in the 90th minute for Siyanda Xulu to make it 2-0 and see Downs finish their season with 56 points.
Mabhuti Khenyeza put the icing on the cake when he scored the third goal in injury time.
Mphela had gone through a mini goal drought in 2010 but Saturday’s goal was his second in four days. Mphela scored for Bafana Bafana in the 1-1 draw against Namibia in a friendly international played on Durban on Wednesday night.
Arrows have been in free fall since they won the MTN8 trophy beating Ajax Cape Town 6-0 at the Orlando Stadium last October. Arrows who have failed to qualify for the top eight and be able to defend their title.
Downs were on top in the first 45 minutes. Downs striker Mabhuti Khenyeza was wide of the Arrows goal in the opening minute as the home side took the initiative.
Arrows Joseph Musonda fired a shot over the Downs crossbar in the 10th minute from 20 metres. Seven minutes later Downs midfielder Matthew Pattison forced Arrows keeper Thulasizwe Khuzwayo to fist his shot over his crossbar.
Khuzwayo did well again in the 29th minute when he stopped a goalbound effort from Mphela. Franklin Cale shot over the upright in the 38th minute as Downs piled on the pressure. The goal was just reward when Khenyeza set up Mphela who rammed home his 18th league goal of the season three minutes from the break.
Arrows showed more fight after the break. Downs keeper Wayne Sandilands, getting a rare start, did well to stop Thokozani Mshengu from equalising on 52 minutes. Two minutes later, the agile Sandilands stopped a goalbound shot from Tshepo Mashego.
Arrows' new budding Bafana midfield star Thanduyise Khuboni shot over the Downs crossbar in the 58th minute while Downs striker Thuso Phala had his shot well saved by Khuzwayo.
With two minutes to go, Arrows defender Mzuvukile Tom tried his luck with a long range shot that sailed over the woodwork. Then, in final minute, Xulu made it 2-0 after converting a good pass from Mphela and, in injury time, Khenyeza made it 3-0 to give Downs three points with which to end their season.