Downs get another one over Bucs

Sundowns thought they should have been awarded a penalty in the opening four minutes as Mzikayise Mashaba went down in the area under pressure from Happy Jele but the referee remained unmoved as play went on.

With a quarter of the match gone, Sundowns again looked to have won themselves a penalty, Jele again bringing down Mashaba with this case looking a much stronger one for the Tshwane giants, but once more the referee waved away the appeals, much to the anger of the Sundowns players.

However, just a few minutes later and Downs got their goal, Khama Billiat acting quickest to pounce on a loose ball in the area before sending a looping header over Jackson Mabokgwane and into the back of the net.

The Bucs had a golden chance to level things up 10 minutes before the break as Thabo Qalinge came racing in to get to a loose ball in the box but he seemed to snatch at the ball and eventually sent a tame effort into the keeper’s clutches.

Downs started the second-half like a house on fire and grabbed their second goal with 48 minutes gone, Yannick Zakri picking up the ball before skipping his way past two defenders and smartly placing the ball past the keeper and into the back of the net.

Sundowns seemed happy to sit back and absorb any pressure after taking a two-goal lead, and although that meant allowing Pirates more possession, the Buccaneers seemed to run out of ideas in the final third as Denis Onyango went largely untested.

Billiat almost added some extra gloss to the scoreline in the final minutes but was unlucky to see his stinging long-range drive crash off the woodwork with the keeper beaten all ends up.