Mamelodi Sundowns extended their DStv Premiership winning streak to 10 games after a 1-0 victory over AmaZulu FC at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Wednesday night.
Lucas Ribeiro Costa’s solitary goal was enough to give the champions maximum points on the day. Sundowns remain at the summit of the table with 30 points after ten games.
Meanwhile, Usuthu are 12th with 15 points after 12 games.
Both teams came to the league outing having suffered defeats in the previous weekend. Masandawana were downed by TP Mazembe in the CAF Champions League while the KZN outfit lost to TS Galaxy in the Carling Knockout Cup.
As many expected, the Brazilians had a lion’s share in the opening exchanges of play, taking control of ball possession. Usuthu had a busy spell at the back as the visitors kept on entering the box.
In the 12th minute, Themba Zwane burst into the box and set up Marcelo Allende, who unleashed a thumping shot but his attempt deflected off AmaZulu’s men.
Meanwhile, the home side had a few attempts of forward movements but always found it difficult to cross the center line.
RIBEIRO COSTA OPENED THE SCORING WITH HIS THIRD GOAL IN LAST 4 GAMES
In the 19th minute, Sundowns were awarded a penalty after Mbongeni Gumede was adjudged to have brought down Themba Zwane in the box. The Brazilian striker stepped up and rattled the back of the net from the spot.
The game had a heated moment with the two benches exchanging words following what seemed like poor officiating incidents on the field. However, moments later, the officials managed to calm the situation.
AmaZulu goalkeeper, Olwethu Mzimela, who made his debut for Usuthu in the top-flight, was called into action to repel Peter Shalulile’s vicious shot in the box. The Namibian forward received the ball from Zwane and unleashed a powerful shot after a sharp turn. His attempt was expertly dealt with by Usuthu’s young goalie.
Towards the end of the first half, the hosts played some progressive football and exerted some pressure on Bafana Ba Style as they were seeking an equaliser.
The second half had a lot of action from end to end with both sides playing constructive football. Sundowns couldn’t dominate as in the early exchanges of the first stanza.
Tshepang Moremi had a one-on-one chance against Ronwen Williams to grab a leveller for AmaZulu. The Bafana Bafana captain was quick to get into the ball first to clear the ball from the dangerous area.
In the 64th minute, Mzimela made another spectacular save, denying a thunderous shot by Mkhulise from around 25 yards.
The introduction of Thapelo Morena and Lesiba Nku gave Sundowns some spark when they drove forward. The duo had come on for Ribeiro and Allende.
Four minutes before the end of the game, Shalulile had a clear-cut opportunity to wrap up the game when he received a cut-back from Lesiba Nku. The champions went to secure yet another three points to retain the top spot on the log standings.