Mamelodi Sundowns beat Maritzburg United
Posted: 20 November 2011 Time: 17:37
Mamelodi Sundowns moved up to second position on the League standings following a 1-0 win against Maritzburg United on Sundaey afternoon.
Elias Pelembe was the hero for The Brazilians, scoring the only goal of the game midway through the first half.
Ian Palmer’s men had the first chance in the 12th minute when they won a free-kick 25 yards out; Kurt Lentjies’ initial attempt was blocked by the wall, with Michael Morton gathering the rebound and blasting the ball over the crossbar.
Two minutes later Richard Henyekane used his pace to beat a couple of defenders and found Katlego Mphela inside the box. He laid the ball back for Teko Modise, but his snap-shot was well wide of target.
Modise tried another long range attempt in the following minute and although his shot was dipping it still sailed over Shu-Aib Walters’ crossbar.
Maritzburg won another free-kick in the 19th minute in a similar position as the first one and this time Lentjies fired a low shot on target, but Wayne Sandilands got down in time to make the save.
The home side broke the deadlock three minutes later via a well-constructed move which saw Modise playing a neat one-two with Punch Masenamela; the latter then cut the ball back for Pelembe who made no mistake from 12 yards out.
The Brazilians should’ve doubled the lead in the 27th minute when Mphela beat the offside trap to receive a through-pass from Pelembe, but the league’s leading scorer pulled his shot across the goal.
A minute later Lentjies had a great chance to level matters when he was put through by a pass from Fadlu Davids, only for the former Sundowns player to fire wide.
Themba Zwane, who came on late in the first half to replace the injured Surprise Moriri, came close to doubling the lead four minutes into the second half when he was released through the middle by Pelembe, but his shot was well saved by Walters.
Mphela, who was having a quiet game by his standards, managed to a get a header on target in the 51st minute, but his attempt lacked pace and Walters was able to make a comfortable save, while Zwane failed to connect with a cross from Modise two minutes later.
Prince Olomu, who switched to a more central attacking role, almost latched onto a through-pass in the 67th minute but arrived a second too late, but he managed to force a one-handed save from Sandilands with a volleyed shot two minutes later.
Substitute Nyasha Mushekwi created the best chance of the second half when he beat Mor Diouf with a brilliant turn in the 79th minute, but he was let down by a complete miss-kick with only the goalkeeper to beat.
The match lacked goalmouth action in the closing stages, with Sundowns doing enough to protect their slender lead, while Maritzburg lacked the creativity to exert any real pressure.