Downs brush aside Mariveni
Posted: 6 March 2017 Time: 18:51
Mamelodi Sundowns had to work hard, yet managed to sweep aside SAB Regional side Mariveni United 2-0 in their Nedbank Cup Last 32 encounter at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Monday night.
As expected, it was all Sundowns in the first 45 minutes, with the CAF Champions League holders enjoying almost 85% possession against their fourth-tier opponents.
Mariveni defended deep and in numbers for the majority of the opening half, hustling the Downs frontmen and denying them any space early on.
When the backline was finally opened up, Anthony Laffor should have opened the scoring as he received a ball with an open goal at his mercy midway through the first stanza, yet he skied his effort over the bar.
Thabo Nthethe rose highest to head a delivery wide just before the half-hour mark, with Downs far from vintage in their creativity and build-up play as Pitso Mosimane became an increasingly-animated figure on the touchline.
A routine catch from a looping header was spilled by the Mariveni keeper late in the half, yet Leonardo Castro could only strike the side-netting as he looked to pounce on the error.
Masandawana kept pushing forward, with Teko Modise trying his luck from range late-on, yet Mariveni remained resilient to hold their illustrious opponents in the first 45 minutes.
Mariveni’s second half resistance did not last long however, as Mbhumbi was called into action just four minutes in, producing a diving save to deny Leonardo Castro’s goal-bound header. Yet the Colombian would get the better of the keeper in the resulting corner, heading home to finally break the deadlock.
A minute later and Downs doubled their lead, Castro rising highest as his header bounced back off the crossbar, but Laffor was on hand to head downwards and into the back of the net to register his name on the scoresheet.
There was confusion on the hour-mark as Sibusiso Vilakazi knocked in what seemed like Sundowns’ third, with the referee pointing towards the centre circle to confirm the goal, yet with Castro fouling Mbhumbi moments before, the goal was not given as the Mariveni gloveman received treatment.
Mzikayise Mashaba came close on 77 minutes as his grass-cutter skidded narrowly wide, while Castro kept Mbhumbi busy with yet another goal-bound header, which the keeper comfortably handled.
The two-goal advantage was enough for Mosimane, who walked down the tunnel five minutes from the end, as his side saw out the result to advance to the Last 16 of the competition.
Mamelodi Sundowns: Mweene, S Zwane (Morena 46'), Arendse, Nthethe, Hachi, Modise, Madisha, Mashaba, Vilakazi (Julies 83'), Laffor (Mohomi 54'), Castro
Mariveni United: Mbhumbi, Marime, Maluleke, Malesa, Shikwambana, Manganyi (Mokgoelepa 75'), Rakgoale, Mayimele, Zitha, Phalane (Ntimbana 66'), Mafogo (Ngobeni 85')