Vilakazi gets the winner
Posted: 7 February 2009 Time: 18:09
Mamelodi Sundowns scored a solitary goal courtesy of Benedict Vilakazi to beat Golden Arrows 1-0 at the Chatsworth Stadium on Saturday afternoon to move up the Absa Premiership table.
The Brazilians started this game knowing that if they walked away with a win they would escalate themselves into second spot on the Absa Premiership log.
However, despite this fact they started the game in a poor fashion, as Abafana Bes'thende cut through their defence with ease, creating some great chances early on.
Had it not have been for Calvin Marlin in the Sundowns goal the Tshwane giants would have gone into the half-time break a couple of goals down.
Arrows' first chance came in the fourth minute when Francis Kombe let fly with his right boot from just inside the 18-yard box. Marlin plucked his shot out of the air diving to his right to deny the striker a goal with a fine save.
Marlin was called into action again eight minutes later when he pulled off a blinder of a save to deny Philani Shange this time. A beautiful one-two between Richard Henyekane and Shange opened up space inside the box, just as Shange fired his shot it took a wicked deflection off a Sundowns player, but Marlin did magnificently to change direction and tip the ball over the bar for a corner.
Arrows dominated the pace and dictated the flow of the game while Sundowns' defence looked at sixes and sevens during the first 45.
The Abafana Bes'thende certainly deserved to go into the half-time break in the lead but they squandered their opportunities in front of goal, often taking too many touches in the danger zone. Furthermore, Marlin was formidable between the sticks for the Brazilians.
That was not the worst of it as Arrows went into the break a goal down as Benedict Vilakazi grabbed the game's opening goal against the run of play two minutes before the half-time whistle. Vilakazi picked up the ball 20 yards from goal and drove a powerful shot into the top right-hand corner giving the goalkeeper no chance, 1-0.
The second half proved a much more boring one than the first. Sundowns came out for the second half in a much more confident mood. Their defence seemed to regroup and proved a difficult unit to break down while the midfield strangled the possession in midfield.
Arrows struggled to create any decent chances in the second half and resorted to shooting from long range. The only real threat on the field came from that of Vilakazi, who Abafana Bes'thende's defence found difficult to deal with.
Vilakazi came the closest to scoring in the second half when he drove into the box and forced Helton Da Rocha into a diving save in the 74th minute.
Arrows will be disappointed with the end result as they controlled much of the game. Sundowns now move up into second place in the League with the 1-0 win, once again putting the star-studded Brazilians in contention to challenge for the league title.