Absa Premiership

Sundowns stretch unbeaten run to 27 matches

2019-01-17 07:32
Pitso Mosimane
Pitso Mosimane (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Mamelodi Sundowns stretched an unbeaten Absa Premiership record spanning two seasons to 27 matches Wednesday with a hard-fought 1-0 home victory over Maritzburg United.

It took a typical unstoppable drive from captain Hlompho Kekana on 60 minutes to beat outstanding Ghana-born United goalkeeper Richard Ofori and secure three points for the Pretoria outfit.

Victory lifted Sundowns to third, five points behind leaders Wits with three matches in hand due to CAF Champions League commitments.

Sundowns have not lost since going down to Orlando Pirates last January and need to dodge defeat in their next four league matches to equal the 31-match record of Kaizer Chiefs.

Winning was also a timely boost for the record eight-time Premiership trophy-holders ahead of a key Champions League group game against Wydad Casablanca of Morocco this weekend.

The lone goal stemmed from a corner manoeuvre that finished with Kekana slamming the ball into the net with his right foot from just outside the box.

"It was a brilliant goal and the fact that the Maritzburg goalkeeper was voted man of the match says a lot about the game," said Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane.

Ofori made a string of superb saves for Maritzburg, who remain bottom of the table with just one win and 11 points from 17 matches.

Maritzburg, who came fourth in the 16-club Premiership last season, axed coach Fadlu Davids recently, but Turkish replacement Muhsin Ertugral has lost his three matches in charge.

Kaizer Chiefs continue to impress under another recently hired coach, German Ernst Middendorp, whose appointment triggered an avalanche of social media criticism.

Chiefs rose one place to fifth by defeating hosts AmaZulu more convincingly than the 3-2 scoreline suggested in Indian Ocean port city Durban.

It was the fifth victory in seven matches in all competitions for the greying German, a disciplinarian who has coached numerous South African clubs with limited success.

AmaZulu defender Marc van Heerden opened and closed the scoring, conceding an own-goal within 30 seconds of the kick-off and poking a stoppage-time consolation goal.

Zimbabwean Ovidy Karuru cancelled out the own-goal only for a couple of Chiefs' veterans, Bernard Parker and Zimbabwean Willard Katsande, to score for a two-goal advantage.

Hendrick Ekstein wasted a great chance to add a fourth goal for the visitors when one-on-one with goalkeeper Siyabonga Mbatha before Van Heerden netted.

Cape Town City climbed three places to fourth, ahead of Chiefs on goal difference, by scoring four second-half goals to triumph 5-0 at home against lowly Free State Stars.

Austrian Roland Putsche claimed the only goal of the first half and doubled the lead from a penalty before Gift Links (twice) and Siphelele Mthembu compounded Stars' misery.

Read more on:    maritzburg united  |  mamelodi sundowns  |  psl  |  soccer

 

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Fixtures
Monday, 01 April 2019
Orlando Pirates v Mamelodi Sundowns, Orlando Stadium 19:30
Friday, 05 April 2019
Maritzburg United v Bloemfontein Celtic, Harry Gwala Stadium 20:00
Saturday, 06 April 2019
Wits v Orlando Pirates, Bidvest Stadium 15:00
Highlands Park v Free State Stars, Makhulong Stadium 15:00
Golden Arrows v Cape Town City, Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium 15:00
Kaizer Chiefs v Baroka FC, FNB Stadium 18:00
AmaZulu v Chippa United, King Zwelithini Stadium 20:15
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