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Mamelodi Sundowns add to Pirates’ woes

Percy Tau and Ayanda Gcaba © Backpagepix
Percy Tau and Ayanda Gcaba © Backpagepix

Goals in each half through Khama Billiat and Yannick Zakri were enough for Mamelodi Sundowns as they beat Orlando Pirates 2-0 in the Absa Premiership at Orlando Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

In the wake of the win, Pitso Mosimane’s men remain placed at No 2 on the log table with 54 points from 27 matches.

Kjell Jonevret’s men started better than their hosts and Thabo Rakhale tried a shot from a distance in the 17th minute, but goalkeeper Denis Onyango collected comfortably.

In the 21st minute, Mzikayise Mashaba was fouled in the penalty area by Happy Jele as the Brazilians protested for a spot kick, but the referee waved play on.

However, four minutes later, Billiat broke the deadlock after they won the ball in the middle of the park: a cross from Zakri deflected off Issa Sarr only for the Zimbabwean to head home.

Exactly on the half hour mark, Ayanda Gcaba’s attempt in the box nearly caught Sundowns off guard, but produced a brilliant save from Onyango following a corner by Rakhale.

With 10 minutes to go, Onyango was once again called on to produce a brilliant save to deny Oupa Manyisa from close resulting from a clever cross by Thabo Qalinge.

It was an end-to-end affair in the last five minutes and Jackson Mabokgwane cane out to deny Percy Tau. It was 1-0 at the interval.

Three minutes into the second stanza, Zakri made it 2-0 for the visitors after he was set up by Themba Zwane and the Ivory Coastan beat Mabokgwane on his right corner.

The hosts tried to unlock Sundowns’ defence by pushing forward, however, substitute Mpho Makola’s effort was dealt with by the uncompromising Onyango in the 60th minute.

Jonevret introduced Tendai Ndoro, Dove Wome and Makola to find an opening goal, yet Ndoro failed to keep his header on target in the 77th minute as it flew over the crossbar.

In the last three minutes of the tie, Billiat came close to bagging his brace when he unleashed a powerful shot on the edge of the area, but he was denied by the woodwork.

For the Soweto giants, the loss means they occupy the 10th spot with 31 points from 26 league matches.

Orlando Pirates 0

Mamelodi Sundowns (1) 2 (Billiat 25′, Zakri 48′)

Orlando Pirates: Mabokgwane, Jele, Gcaba, Phungwayo., Sarr, Qalinge (Makola 60′), Manyisa, Gabuza (Ndoro 76′), Mobara (Wome 59′), Matlaba, Rakhale

Mamelodi Sundowns: Onyango, Morena, Nthethe, Madisha, Billiat, T. Zwane, Tau (Modise 63′), Mashaba (Ngconga 86′), Zakri (Laffor 77′), Kekana, Mabunda

This article was sourced from the PSL website.

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