'Downs back to winning ways

2012-10-23 21:41
Anthony Laffor (Backpage)
Pretoria - Mamelodi Sundowns booked a place in the quarter-finals of the Telkom Knockout with a 1-0 victory over the University of Pretoria on Tuesday evening, bringing to an end an eight-game winless streak.
Anthony Laffor scored the only goal of the game early in the second half, handing the Brazilians a win which will take some heat off beleaguered coach Johan Neeskens.
Sundowns dominated possession in the first half, though they were unable to really stretch the visitors’ defence and create scoring chances from open play. However, Teko Modise twice threatened from free kicks.
His first was well palmed away by Tuks goalkeeper Washington Arubi on 22 minutes, while the second rattled the crossbar in the 39th. Those were the only notable attacking moments of the first half from either team.
The Brazilians’ attack finally clicked into a higher gear in the third minute of the second half. Punch Masenamela picked out Elias Pelembe on the right wing, who beat his marker before providing a perfect low pass which was swept emphatically into the back of the net by Anthony Laffor to make it 1-0.
Sundowns goalkeeper Dennis Onyango was a spectator in the first half, but he saw more action in the second, keeping out an angled drive from Mame Niang before twice having to punch away an awkward aerial ball in the 74th minute as Tuks began to put more pressure on the hosts’ defence.
Sundowns substitute Nyasha Mushekwi had a golden chance to wrap up the game ten minutes before the end of regulation time when he pinched the ball off Tebogo Monyai and headed toward goal, but the experienced defender got back to make a risky challenge from behind and did just enough to deny the striker and not concede a penalty.
Goalkeeper Arubi produced two excellent saves to keep the score down to 1-0 in the dying minutes, keeping out goal-bound efforts from Mushekwi and Hlompho Kekana as Sundowns searched for a killer second goal.


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