Downs close in on SuperSport

A late goal from Surprise Moriri handed the Brazilians a victory that keeps them right on the tails of Matsatsantsa and they can draw level on points if they win their game in hand this coming weekend.

There were plenty of goal scoring opportunities early on, both from open play and set pieces, yet neither Brian Baloyi nor his counterpart Tapuwa Kapini were called upon to make any particularly challenging saves in the first 30 minutes.

Sundowns’ Esrom Nyandoro was desperately unlucky to see his 27th minute shot from just outside the penalty area rebound off the post with Stars’ keeper well beaten.

The Brazilians were again mere inches from taking the lead in the 40th minute when Elias Pelembe’s shot from close range hit the woodwork. It was the last clear scoring chance of the half, with the interval seeing the score locked at 0-0.

On 63 minutes Pelembe whipped a good cross into the Stars box from a free kick that found the head of Matthew Booth, but the tall centre back was unable to direct his header on target.

With just under 20 minutes to play ‘Downs introduced Surprise Moriri off the bench and it proved to be a turning point in the match, with the substitute getting on the end of James Mayinga’s cross to direct a header into the back of the net and hand the hosts a 75th minute lead.

On 82 minutes Stars so nearly drew level but Joseph Malongoane’s long range shot was turned away by Brian Baloyi, probably the best save he had to make on the night.

Three minutes later Moriri almost gave the Brazilians some breathing space with a shot from just inside the penalty area but Kapini tipped the ball over his bar to keep Dinaledi in the contest.

However, Sundowns held out for the victory and will head into this weekend’s game against Santos knowing that a win will put them level on points with their cross-town rivals at the league summit.