PSL Absa Premiership match report: Mpumalanga Black Aces vs Mamelodi Sundowns
Posted: 25 August 2015 Time: 19:03
Mpumalanga Black Aces claimed the Absa Premiership summit after edging Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 on Tuesday despite being reduced to ten men in Nelspruit.
Man of the Match Eddie Ngalo headed home a corner 37 minutes in at Mbombela Stadium.
AmaZayoni then had goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane sent off for a foul on Cuthbert Malajila just before the break, prompting coach Muhsin Ertugral to hand a debut to Shu-Aib Walters.
Former Maritzburg United keeper Walters and his defence stood firm to ensure the hosts bolstered their tally to seven points from three games - two points ahead of second-placed Kaizer Chiefs, and three in front of Downs.
Both teams had chances early on with Aubrey Ngoma shooting wide for the hosts before Thabo Nthethe saw his header from close range fail to hit the target. Teko Modise picked out the former Bloemfontein Celtic skipper at the back post, having peeled away from his marker, Nthethe would've been disappointed to see his attempt float wide on 12 minutes.
Nthethe had another chance just after the half-hour mark, latching onto a free-kick by Modise - with Mabokgwane stranded the Bafana Bafana stopper was lucky to see the ball fly wide.
Having seen the Brazilians go close through a succession of set-pieces, Aces opened the scoring through a corner-kick of their own. Aces skipper Ngalo got in at the near post before nodding Tshidiso Tukane's cross past Kennedy Mweene who had no chance.
Seemingly in control with the interval looming, Mabokgwane opened the door for Sundowns after he brought down Malajila outside the area - the referee left with no choice but to brandish the red card.
Substitute keeper Walters had to be on his toes from the onset, keeping out Modise's free-kick to send the hosts into the break 1-0 up.
Walters was called into action once again just before the hour-mark - this time the Aces gloveman did well to save at Billiat's feet after the Zimbabwean skipped past a couple of Aces defenders.
Aces should've doubled their advantage through Tukane on 81 minutes. With Downs swarming forward, the hosts countered through Lebogang Manyama. The on-loan attacker put it on a plate for his teammate, but Mweene kept a cool head to pull off a wonderful save.
Sundowns aimed to captalise on the lifeline handed to them by the Zambian stopper through Nthethe who had another chance late on, but Walters was up to the task as Aces claimed a memorable scalp.
HOME: Mpumalanga Black Aces
Coach: Muhsin Ertugral
AWAY: Mamelodi Sundowns
Coach: Pitso Mosimane