Following a run of three consecutive stalemates, Mamelodi Sundowns returned to winning ways in the DStv Premiership this week following their 1-0 victory against Richards Bay at Loftus Versfeld on Tuesday afternoon.
Sundowns settled early and stroked the ball around with ease during the first five minutes of the game. While Downs looked comfortable, Richards Bay provided no real threat in the opposition half and were reduced to defending their own quarters as a result of Sundowns’ early possession.
The Natal Rich Boys were afforded a couple of goal scoring opportunities midway through the first half as the home team were caught napping in defensive positions. However, Sundowns clicked the reset button and immediately went on the attack in search of an opener.
Sundowns pressure paid off in the 24th minute, with Thapelo Morena getting his name on the score sheet. With a cross played into the Richards Bay box, the Downs right-back capitalised on a poor clearance inside the area, before rifling home a right-footed shot into the roof of the net.
Richards Bay enjoyed a lengthy spell of possession toward the end of the first half and troubled the Downs backline on a couple of occasions. However, Sundowns sat tight and fended off the travelling side’s attacking moves.
In seeing out the half, the Brazilians headed into the break with a slender 1-0 advantage.
Richards Bay showcased their intent early on in the second half and came close to levelling matters within 10 minutes of the restart. Much to the discontent of Ronwen Williams, Sundowns often looked vulnerable while defending their penalty area.
Sundowns regained their composure as the hour mark approached and began stringing passes together while going forward. The game headed into a tacky period thereafter, with neither creating any notable scoring opportunities.
The Brazilians had difficulty driving the ball forward as Richards Bay shut down many of the home side’s attacking advancements. As the game hit the 80th minute mark, the Natal Rich Boys began to produce a number of worrying moments going forward, however, Downs did well to manage the late pressure.
As the referee called time on the fixture, Sundowns returned to winning ways in the DStv Premiership with a 1-0 win at Loftus Versfeld.
Mamelodi Sundowns: (1) 1 (Morena 24’)
Richards Bay: (0) 0
Mamelodi Sundowns:Williams, Morena (Kutumela 31’), Mashego, De Reuck, Boutouil (Lebusa 45’) , Zungu, Mbule (Nkosi 45’), Mkhulise, Maboe, Nassir (Mudau 45’), Mailula (Sirino 31)
Richards Bay:Magoola, Mphathe, Mabua, Mthethwa, Mcineka, Mhlongo, Barns, Mathebula, Hlongwa (Mbuthuma 72’), Memela (Mthembu 83’), Ntsundwana (Dlamini 72’)
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