Lyle Lakay came off the bench to help Mamelodi Sundowns claim a 2-1 win over Maritzburg United in the Absa Premiership on Saturday evening.
Tiyani Mabunda returned to partner Hlompho Kekana in the Sundowns midfield, whilst Jose Ali Meza and Sibusiso Vilakazi led the line for Pitso Mosimane’s charges.
Sundowns started positively and nearly instigated the breakthrough five minutes in when Themba Zwane sent a shot wide of the mark with only Richard Ofori to beat.
At the other end, Denis Onyango was put to work in the first ten minutes from Thabiso Kutumela’s snap-shot following a goalmouth scramble from a corner but the Ugandan smothered the danger efficiently.
At the midway point of the hlaf, Meza nearly capitalised from Ofori’s poor first touch from a back-pass ricochet, but the defence cleared for a corner later on. Although, Gaston Sirino put Downs ahead six minutes to the break after skipping Rushine De Reuck before curling into far corner.
Eric Tinkler went for the kill at the restart, with Gabriel Nyoni and Judas Moseamedi entering in a double format. The move paid off as Siyanda Xulu nodded Dean Morgan’s in-swinging corner in at the near post after 55 minutes played.
Mosimane decided to speed up their attack six minutes later and unleashed Phakamani Mahlambi for Vilakazi. Sundowns threw all their eggs in one basket six minutes later, but Tebogo Langerman failed to beat Ofori from close-range after getting onto Kekana’s diagonal delivery.
Lakay made an entry in the final eight minutes as Meza made way for Mosimane’s final throw of the dice. As the game flew back and forth, Lakay took matters into his own hands in added time as he fired into the top corner to seal three points for the league champions.
The victory see Downs leapfrog Kaizer Chiefs into second place and remain unbeaten as United’s winless continued.
Sundowns: Onyango, Morena, Madisha, Lebusa, Langerman, Mabunda, Kekana, Zwane, Sirino, Vilakazi, Meza
Subs: Mweene, Jali, Ngcongca, Mahlambi, Lakay, Mkhulise, Coetzee.
Maritzburg: Ofori, Xulu, Morgan, De Reuck, Mngonyama, Allie, Ntshangase, Claasen, Timm, Kutumela, Augusto.
Subs: Mpandle, Sangweni, Shandu, Jappie, Moseamedi, Nyoni, Kunene.