Downs win Tshwane Derby
Posted: 22 December 2009 Time: 21:26
Mamelodi Sundowns have ensured the League title race will go down to the wire after beating SuperSport United 1-0 in the Tshwane Derby at Loftus Versfeld on Tuesday night.
After dominating a goalless first half, Downs finally got their goal on the hour-mark when Luvengo Mungomeni rose highest to flick Elias Pelembe’s free-kick past Denis Onyango.
SuperSport completely dominated after that and missed a number of chances, though Brian Baloyi and Co deserve a lot of credit for some resolute defending.
The Brazilians started the first half like they had something to prove, with Franklin Cale and Pelembe causing havoc down the flanks.
Despite an early chance for Glen Salmon which hit the side-netting, it was all Sundowns. Mabhuti Khenyeza should have put his side ahead midway through the half after being played in by Katlego Mphela, but Onyango pulled off a fine save to deny the striker.
Hlompo Kekana and Daine Klate both had shots from the edge of the area which went wide, before Mphela’s left-footed curler from 20 yards out shaved the upright.
Gavin Hunt’s decision to replace the struggling Phelani Mpangase with Letladi Madubanya seemed to do the trick for United, who completely dominated after the break.
Klate found space in the area, but his weak shot trickled just wide, while Jabulani Maluleke, Brent Carelse and Madubanya tested Baloyi, who looked unbeatable on the ground, but was very suspect with any crosses into the area.
Then, on 59 minutes and completely against the run of play, Sundowns took the lead. Pelembe’s curling free-kick found Mungomeni, who rose highest to flick past Onyango.
The goal spurred SuperSport into action, but somehow they could just not get the ball in the back of the net. Baloyi pulled of a brilliant save to keep out Klate’s close-range drive, while Mungomeni cleared off the line with substitute Dario Monteiro waiting to tap home.
And with just minutes to go, Matthew Booth produced a world-class tackle to stop Bongani Khumalo’s goalbound shot, ensuring Sundowns the win – and the title race going down to the wire.