Mamelodi Sundowns (1) 2
(Ribeiro 21’, Maema 90’)
Kaizer Chiefs (0) 1
(Du Preez 84’)
Lucas Moripe Stadium, Atteridgeville
Lady Luck shone brightly on Mamelodi Sundowns to grant them a fortuitous 2-1 win over Kaizer Chiefs in a closely contested DStv Premiership clash at a jam-packed Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday.
Substitute, Neo Maema somehow managed to squeeze the ball through the grasp of goalkeeper, Brandon Petersen to net the winner in the final minute of the game after Ashley Du Preez had scored a derserved equaliser for Amakhosi only four minutes earlier.
Brazilian striker Lucas Ribeiro had put Sundowns into the lead in the 21st minute.
As would be expected from a home team, Sundowns came out strongly from the opening whistle but found themselves unable to breach Amakhosi’s well organised defensive block in the early stages.
The Brazilians repeatedly attacked down their left flank but winger, Thapelo Maseko could not get the better of Reeve Frosler, who repelled him numerous times, matching him for pace and timing his challenges perfectly.
When the deadlock was broken in the 21st minute, it was more due to an unfortunate mistake, and handed Sundowns a somewhat fortuitous lead.
One of the inherent dangers in playing out from the back via the goalkeeper is that on occasion it can be risky and on this occasion, goalkeeper Brandon Petersen played the ball to Edson Castillo, who was pressurised by Themba Zwane. The ball fell loose to Peter Shaluile inside the Chiefs penalty area and as Petersen rushed out, he slid the ball square to Ribeiro to side-foot into the net.
Amakhosi attempted to regain a foothold in the game and might have caused real threats to the Sundowns rear guard had some promising attacks not been curtailed by what can be termed 'tactical’ fouls.
Five minutes before half-time, Ribeiro, looking suspiciously offside, broke clear but was foiled by an excellent stop from Petersen to keep the scoreline down to one as they went into the half-time break.
Having started the match rather conservatively, Coach Molefi Ntseki began to encourage his team to play more on the front foot and as they got into the game, they started systematically pushing Sundowns further back.
Chiefs had a fortunate escape five minutes into the second half when Shalulile completely miskicked from in front of goal, allowing Petersen to scramble back well and block the follow up.
Ranga Chivaviro came agonisingly close to levelling the scores in the 55th minute when his goal bound diving header from Du Preez’s right wing cross was deflected just wide for a corner.
Petersen, captain for the day, came up trumps against Shalulile again on 67 minutes, standing large to block the forward’s shot. Six minutes later, he saved from Maseko.
However, with Ntseki introducing fresh impetus in the form of Tebogo Potsane and youngster Sabelo Radebe from the bench with just over 10 minutes to go, the tide began to turn in favour of the team wearing their splendid new Green & gold Kappa away strip for the first time.
With six minutes left to play, Potsane broke down the left flank and flighted a finely judged pass into the path of Du Preez who, like the intelligent striker that he is, slipped between the Sundowns centre-backs to side-foot the ball firmly past keeper Ronwen Williams, to the unrestrained delight of the considerable number of Amakhosi Faithful in the stands.
It looked as though Amakhosi had earned a well deserved draw at the home of the defending champions, but the cruel mishap at the end, robbed them of a valuable point. It was harsh on Petersen, who had performed some heroics during the game, but Coach Ntseki can still take many positives from the game. Castillo looks imperious in midfield, the defence looks tight and the attacking combinations are starting to take shape.
Amakhosi travel to Polokwane to face TS Galaxy in their next DStv Premiership encounter, on 20 August
Chiefs XI: Petersen © (1), Hlanti (23), Ditlhokwe (24), Msimango (25), Frosler (39), Maart (8), Castillo (17), Sithebe (6) (Radebe (33) 78’), Mmodi (13) (Potsane (11) 78’), Du Preez (9), Chivaviro (7) (Basomboli (21) 69’)
Subs not used: Bvuma (44); Nj Ngcobo (27), Kwinika (4), Zwane (37), Mdantsane (3), Shabalala (42),
Coach: Molefi Ntseki
Sundowns XI: Williams (32); Mudau (25), Abdelmounaim (13) (Mbule (24) 77’), Lebusa (5), Mvala (34), Mokoena (4), Maseko (33) (Modiba (17) 90+1’), Zwane © (18) (Maema (35) 68’), Allende (11) (Zungu (8) 90+1), Ribeiro Costa (23), Shalulile (38) (Onyango (6) 77’)
Subs not used: Onyango (1); Kekana (20), , , Nku (7), Aubass (19)
Coach: Rhulani Mokwena