Absa Premiership

Sundowns battle back to beat Bakgaga

2018-04-08 18:18
Percy Tau (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Mamelodi Sundowns opened up a four-point gap at the top of the Absa Premiership table after they came from behind to beat Baroka 2-1 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday.

Both teams showed plenty of attacking intent in an entertaining first half, with numerous chances coming in the opening stages.

After Sibusiso Vilakazi fired straight at Ayanda Dlamini, Lucky Nguzana drew a comfortable save out of Denis Onyango with a snapshot.

Onyango was called into action again on seven minutes as Talent Chawapiwa lined up a shot from 22 yards out that the Sundowns keeper tipped behind the goal.

Nguzana wasted a golden opportunity to break the deadlock on 20 minutes when he blazed over the crossbar after being released through on goal, but he quickly made amends for that miss.

The Brazilians switched off at a corner that was played short and Nguzana found space to slot past Onyango at the back post from eight yards out.

Percy Tau should have restored parity four minutes later when he sprung the offside trap, but the forward failed to keep his shot down with just Dlamini to beat.

Khama Billiat passed up another good chance to equalise on the half-hour as he clipped the top of the bar with a volley that was hit into the ground from Leandro Sirino's cut-back on the right.

Sirino was next to miss the target with a volley after good work from Vilakazi to create the opening for the Uruguayan midfielder, but the visitors finally got back on level terms in the final minute of the half.

Tau received the ball back after playing a corner short and his first-time cross found Wayne Arendse at the back post, where the defender steered a header across Dlamini into the right corner.

Sirino was inches away from opening his Premiership account at the start of the second half with a volley from the edge of the box on the right that flew across the face of goal.

The action quickly switched to the other end as Nguzana stole the ball off Hlompho Kekana and fired a shot on the turn wide of the left post on 47 minutes.

But it was Downs who went in front three minutes later when Sirino played in Vilakazi on the right and he advanced to the byline before cutting the ball back for Tau to tuck a first-time shot home from eight yards out.

Kekana threatened to extend their lead on 53 minutes as he intercepted a pass in midfield and took aim from 25 yards out, but his effort drifted to the right of the goal.

Mduduzi Mdatsane also tried his luck from distance at the other end soon afterwards, although he cleared the bar comfortably with a rushed effort.

Tau decided not to shoot when he found space inside the box on the right in the 71st minute, instead passing to Billiat, whose tame shot was easily gathered by Dlamini, who was well-placed to hold onto the forward's angled strike on the right eight minutes later.

The Limpopo outfit didn't really trouble Onyango in the second half, but they pushed forward in the closing stages and were nearly caught out on the counter-attack at the death.

Tau released Themba Zwane on the right and the substitute forced a sharp save out of Dlamini at his near post in stoppage time, while the New Zealand striker was denied at close range by the home keeper moments later and Tau blazed over on the rebound.

Read more on:    mamelodi sundowns  |  baroka  |  percy tau  |  soccer

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