Durban - Mamelodi Sundowns gave Maritzburg United a footballing lesson as they walked away from the Harry Gwala Stadium with a 3-2 win Saturday night.
The victory was easier than the score-line suggested, as the home side scored twice in the last 10 minutes after having been 3-0 down.
There was an early scare for the Tshwane team when Maritzburg winger Philani Zulu went close to scoring when his header flashed wide of the far post on eight minutes.
Sundowns though nearly opened the scoring six minutes later when Teko Modise picked up Hlompho Kekana, whose header came back off the bar and then the upright, Thabo Nthethe unable to bundle it in at the far post.
Modise’s rasping drive forced Maritzburg keeper Glenn Verbauwhede into the first save of the game after 15 minutes as the Brazilians began to take a hold of proceedings.
Kekana broke the deadlock after 36 minutes when he strode forward from the middle of the park, exchanging passes with Leonardo Castro before sliding in to score from close-range.
Castro could have made it 2-0 before the break, but sent a header wide of goal.
The second half saw Sundowns in relentless mood, the Gauteng team going close through Wayne Arendse before Khama Billiat made it 2-0 in the 49th minute with a crisp grass-cutting finish from the right hand side of the box after his pace had taken him clean through on goal.
Modise had a shot saved and went inches wide with a volley as Downs’ total domination continued, the Team of Choice’s defence looking rattled.
It wasn’t long before the third did arrive, Kekana showing wonderful skill in the box to beat a couple of defenders before picking his spot at the far post; 3-0 to the visitors after 64 minutes.
Maritzburg were lucky not to concede five minutes later when Billiat missed a real sitter from right in front of goal.
Evans Rusike reduced the deficit for the hosts seven minutes from time with a clinical finish after combining with Gregory Maasdorp,
Brian Onyango then scored a brilliant volley deep in added time, but there was to be no way back for Ernest Middendorp’s men who remain anchored to the foot of the table, Sundowns going three points clear at the top.