Football

DOMINANT DOWNS EXTEND DSTV PREMIERSHIP LEAD TO 13 POINTS

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA – APRIL 23: Tashreeq Matthews of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates his goal with teammates during the DStv Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Sekhukhune United at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on April 23, 2024 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Mamelodi Sundowns edged closer to the 2023/24 DStv Premiership title this week following a tense 2-1 victory over Sekhukhune United at Loftus Versfeld on Tuesday night.

The Chloorkop giants have now opened up a 13-point gap at the top of the pile and need two more wins to secure their seventh successive league title. Two early first-half goals by Tashreeq Matthews and Thapelo Morena was enough to see Sundowns remain unbeaten in the league so far this season.

Mamelodi Sundowns got the game off to a flyer and swiftly passed their way into the Sekhukhune box. Then, in their first attempt at goal, Matthews got his name on the scoresheet in the first minute via a left-footed shot from the centre of the 18-yard-are.

The Brazilians doubled their advantage six minutes later with Morena joining in on the fun. With Sekhukhune looking to play the ball out from the back, Matthews did well to intercept an attempted pass by Trésor Tshibwabwa before squaring the ball to Morena who slotted the ball home with ease.

Sundowns continued to dominate the ball possession count midway through the first-half and created numerous goal scoring opportunities in the process. However, Sekhukhune did not hold back and looked to catch the Brazilians on the break at every opportunity.

Babina Noko ended the half having attempted eight shots at goal, six of which were off target. Nonetheless, the referee called time on the first-half with Sundowns 2-0 goal advantage intact.

While Sundowns started the first-half with a bag, it was Sekhukhune who commenced the second 45 on the front foot. After infiltrating the Downs box, Vusimuzi Mncube drew Brian Onyango into making a foul which prompted the referee to award Sekhukhune with a penalty. In stepping up to the spot, Chibuike Ohizu’s powerful drive managed to bypass Jody February who dived in the right direction.

Sekhukhune pressed on after the 70th minute mark and came close to scoring an equaliser on a couple of occasions. Firstly, Rivaldo Coetzee managed to pull off a vital headed clearance following a corner situation in the 72nd minute, while February was summoned to make a fine reaction save three minutes later.

Rulani Mokwena’s side remained progressive en-route to the final whiste, with Matthews and Sammy Seabi coming close to scoring Sundowns’ third goal of the tie. However, Downs managed to hold their goal advantage intact as the referee called time at Loftus Versfeld.

Mamelodi Sundowns: (2) 2 (Matthews 1’, Morena 7’)

Sekhukhune United: (0) 1 (Ohizu 70’)

Mamelodi Sundowns: D.Onyango (February 37’), Coetzee, B.Onyango (Mashego 58’), Lebusa, Maboe, Mkhulise (Nasser 70’), Nku (Mabena 70’), Maema, Morena, Mendieta (Mbule 58’), Matthews

Sekhukhune United: Sangare, Tiwani, Cardoso, Yamba, Mobbie, Mtshali (Mokotjo 45’), Mkhize, Mncube (Carnell 94’), Webber (Ohizu 45’), Mokwana (Masiya 82’), Mntambo (Sifama 82’)

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SOURCED FROM THE PSL WEBSITE.

 

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