Sundowns crowned Absa Prem champs
Posted: 28 April 2018 Time: 12:26
Mamelodi Sundowns sealed an unprecedented eighth league title following a come-from-behind 3-1 victory over Ajax Cape Town.
Ajax were hoping to derail Downs' Absa Premiership title charge, just like they did with Kaizer Chiefs in 2013, and they made the perfect start when Mosa Lebusa put them ahead in the opening two minutes with an easy finish from a corner by Morne Nel.
The league leaders looked for an immediate reply, with captain Hlompho Kekana running behind the defence to force Jody February saving at his near post.
Later on, a long ball from defence put Percy Tau one-on-one with February but the league’s joint-top scorer went wide with his effort.
He then looked to play provider as he set up Khama Billiat at the far post to force home the equaliser a few minutes later.
After surviving a number of attacking onslaughts from Tau, Billiat and Kekana, the Urban Warriors nearly brought the stadium to its knees with a volley from Yannick Zakri that cracked the post on 20 minutes.
The game turned on its head after February committed a horrendous error to bring down Billiat in the box to concede a penalty.
As per custom, Ricardo Nascimento lined up to beat February, albeit off the keeper's glove on 28 minutes.
Excellent work from Sibusiso Vilakazi to get through the middle saw him combined with Tau who opted an audacious top curler, but February was up to the task, making an acrobatic save on 32 minutes.
On 38 minutes, a perfectly placed ball from Themba Zwane landed perfectly for Vilakazi who beat one defender for a low finish at the near post for a healthy halftime lead.
The resumption was started with cool confidence by the Brazilians, who were keen not to let their lead slip.
They almost found a fourth after a goal-mouth scramble fell to Vilakazi, but his effort was stopped on the line by February.
Muhsin Ertugral decided to bring on Tashreeq Morris and Tercious Malepe in a double switch, while Pitso Mosimane remained unchanged.
Sundowns' first change came when Oupa Manyisa replaced Vilakazi at the midway stage, while Zwane went inches close from getting on the scoresheet but his effort went agonisingly wide.
A spell of good interplay around the box involving Tau and Billiat, opened up quite a few gaps which neither of their teammates were able to pounce, as Downs clinch an eight title with this resounding triumph.
HOME: Mamelodi Sundowns
Coach: Pitso Mosimane
AWAY: Ajax Cape Town
Coach: Muhsin Ertugral