Sundowns dent United’s title hopes
Posted: 22 April 2008 Time: 21:58
Supersport United’s Absa Premiership title ambitions took a knock when they went down 3-1 to defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns at the Super Stadium on Tuesday night.
Sundowns’ Brent Carelse scored a brace, with Siboniso Gaxa pulling one back for Matsatsantsa before substitute Peter Ndlovu rounded off the scoring to increase the Brazilians’ chances of securing a top eight finish.
Both teams adopted an attacking approach and made their intentions clear from the start, with hosts Supersport United having an early Katlego Mashego strike ruled out for offside in the fourth minute.
Lerato Chabangu should have put the visitors ahead in the seventh minute when he produced a superb turn to put himself clear on goal, but his shot from just inside the area was well saved by Matsatsantsa keeper Andre Arendse.
However, there was not much Arendse could do about Sundowns’ goal a minute later, when Carelse latched onto a good cross by Surprise Moriri to slot home from close range.
Daine Klate played Katlego Mphela in on goal in the 25th minute, but the striker’s shot was superbly saved by visiting keeper Brian Baloyi.
Moriri almost doubled the visitors’ lead in the 32nd minute when he headed just wide at the near post from Chabangu’s corner.
Supersport had another scare five minutes later when Thabo September’s back-pass went wide of Arendse, who scrambled back just in time to clear the ball for a corner just before it crossed the goal-line, but the former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper collided with the post as he did so and had to receive extensive treatment to his left leg. Fortunately the keeper was able to continue.
Sundowns threatened again two minutes before the break when Esrom Nyandoro played Luvhengo Mungomeni clear, but the defender sent his effort just wide of goal following superb pressure by the onrushing Arendse.
The score remained 1-0 at the break.
The second half got off to a slow start with the first real chance coming in the 68th minute when Sundowns launched a quick counter, culminating in Josta Dladla shooting high and wide from a very tight angle when he had both Moriri and Chabangu in better positions.
Daine Klate then sent a volley just wide of the Sundowns goal following a good build-up down the left by Supersport United.
Sundowns extended their lead in the 71st minute when Carelse completed his brace following a double save by Arendse off Dladla and Moriri respectively, before the former Ajax Cape Town midfielder slotted home.
Siboniso Gaxa ensured for a pulsating finish when he pulled one back with a scorching effort into the top corner from outside the area.
But the Brazilians restored their two-goal cushion a minute later when Ndlovu fired home after latching onto a flick by Moriri.
Sundowns move up to fourth place in the Absa Premiership, level on 38 points with Golden Arrows. Supersport remain top, three and five points clear of fellow title chasers Ajax Cape Town and Santos respectively, but the Cape Town duo both have a game in hand.