Zothwane leads Sundowns to victory

Neil Tovey’s dream of collecting all the three points on offer suffered a serious blow. AmaZulu came to Super Stadium seeking to redeem themselves but the coastal side choked in the capital, crashing to a defeat that saw a dream turn into a nightmare.

Former Golden Arrows midfielder Zothwane inflicted the pain on poor Tovey. He masterfully drilled holes in the AmaZulu’s defence not once but twice.

Mamelodi Sundowns’ coach made three changes from the team that started against Bidvest Wits last week, bringing in Brian Baloyi, Matthew Booth, and Mabhuti Khenyeza in place of Calvin Marlin, Kurt Lentjies, and Siyanda Xulu.

The first real chance of the game came in the path of Sundowns’ Khenyeza. The Brazilians’ striker should have put Sundowns in the lead in the 17th minute or at least passed to Elias Pelembe, who was even better placed, but he opted for a shot which resulted in a disappointing effort.

AmaZulu retaliated with some good moves, and Bradley Ritson, who was a thorn for Sundowns, outran the defence and lashed out with a vicious drive which brought out the best out of keeper Brian Baloyi in the 23rd minute.

The last twenty minutes of the first half was clearly Sundowns’ but the fact that Katlego Mphela and Elias Pelembe could not convert their chances in the 27th, 29th and 40th minutes respectively left Stoichkov with more questions than answers.

The 49th minute brought the stadium to its feet when Innocent Mdledle’s inviting cross found Papi Zothwane well placed to stab it home with a diving header to give his side the lead.

Mamelodi Sundowns increased their winning margin in the 64th minute and it was Zothwane again showing composure and tapping home a miscue from Khenyeza to score his third goal for Sundowns.

The goals did wonders for the game as AmaZulu were forced to come out of slumberland and try some attacking options.

The visitors staged several onslaughts into the home side’s goalmouth but seemed to run out of ideas when they entered the danger area. The main problem on the night was how to get past the Derrick Spencer and company in the Sundowns defence.

Elias Pelembe should have made it three in the 80th minute but failed to direct his header after a well taken cross by Mdledle.