Sundowns keep pressure on SuperSport
Posted: 7 February 2010 Time: 17:44
Mamelodi Sundowns’ 1-0 win over Ajax Cape Town at Athlone on Sunday keeps the Brazilians’ title hopes very much alive.
Ajax were forced to play a large portion of the game with only 10 men after Clayton Daniels was sent off for an over-the-top 27th minute challenge, while an injury to fellow centre back Derek Decamps saw him also forced to leave the action at the same time.
It was an evenly balanced game throughout, with both sides enjoying periods of dominance, in the end Lebohang Mokoena’s 51st minute strike the only difference in a competitive game.
There were hardly any chances to speak of in the first half, with Ajax’s best opportunity falling to Diyo Sibisi in the 37th minute, but he struck the side-netting from a tight angle, while Downs were a bit unfortunate to have a penalty appeal turned down when Thulani Hlatshwayo had appeared to have taken down Elias Pelembe.
Sundowns signalled their intentions after the restart when Esrom Nyandoro’s 50th minute header brought an excellent save out of Vonk, and a minute later they were ahead when Katlego Mphela exposed Hlatshwayo and set up Mokoena for a simple tap in.
Ajax though refused to give in, but just couldn’t find the equaliser as Granwald Scott shot straight at Baloyi and the Sibisi pulled a shot wide, midway through the stanza.
Downs though could have alleviated the pressure on themselves, but Surprise Moriri’s shot was too close to Vonk and Matthew Pattison failed to make contact with the ball from just outside the six-yard box.
Ajax came close in the 80th minute when George Maluleke’s free kick was just off target, but despite finishing the game the stronger side, the Urban Warriors just could not find a way past a resolute Downs defence, lead by a superb display from Matthew Booth.