Brazilians breeze past Thanda
Posted: 16 April 2008 Time: 21:46
Mamelodi Sundowns ran out comfortable 2-0 winners over Thanda Royal Zulu in an Absa Premiership game played at the Loftus Stadium on Wednesday night.
The result was a continuation of the Tshwane-based side's recent good form they have shown under coach Trott Moloto.
The home side were in control for most of the game and were never really troubled by the KZN opponents.
A quite start to the game saw Sundowns happy to build up patiently from the back, despite failing to find any penetration inside the Thanda half.
The only chance of the early stages fell to Downs' Vuyo Mere, who shot weakly when he had a better option to release Surprise Moriri on goal.
James Sangala enjoyed Thanda's first chance on goal in the 22nd minute when he rose high to meet a free kick, but with Sundowns keeper Brian Baloyi struggling to reach the ball, the Thanda defender was unable to get any direction on his header.
A somewhat dull encounter was finally brought to life in the 27th minute when Sundowns broke the deadlock through Lerato Chabangu.
The former Tuks player was given too much space in a central position outside the box and was able to pick his spot with an accurate curling drive into the bottom corner of the net.
The Brazilian's goal was reward for their patience and it took only another 15 minutes for the hosts to double their lead.
Thanda were always going to be vulnerable on the counter and they were caught out in the 42nd minute when Josta Dladla broke through on goal.
Dladla's curling shot was well saved by Arni Arason, but Luvengo Mungomeni did brilliantly to hammer his first time shot into the roof of the net.
Two former Sundowns players combined well early on in the second half to set up a good chance for Thanda, but after a good cross by Clement Mazibuko, Bennett Mguni's parting shot was horribly miscued.
Chabangu wasted a glorious opportunity to add a third when he missed an open net from less than 10 yards out after an intelligent cut-back by Brian Aldave.
In the 62nd minute Katlego Loke crafted a good opportunity for himself on the edge of the area, but he was unable to reduce the deficit as he dragged his shot wide of the left hand upright.
The PSL champions seemed to take their foot off the pedal for the remainder of the game, but while Amabhubesi did manage to push forward regularly, the only chances they had were free kicks, none of which unduly troubled keeper Brian Baloyi.
There were however too excellent late opportunities for Thanda, but Baloyi did brilliantly to block Mguni's header and then make another fine save from Mazibuko's goal-bound shot.